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Comply with Supreme Court judgment, NBA tells Buhari

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct compliance with the terms of the orders made by the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on 3 March 2023 in respect of the naira redesign policy.

This is contained in a statement by NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN).

The association commended the Supreme Court for its decision which took into consideration the negative impact of the naira redesign policy in the people.

It argued that the needless pain and discomfort to which Nigerians were subjected to resulted from the manner the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) went about implementing the policy with scant regard for citizens’ interests and feelings.

Maikyau said: “I commend the judgement of the apex court in this matter as it not only spoke to the

responsibility of the Court to the people but also its bounden duty to protect the Rule of Law and the integrity of the court.

“The Supreme Court has, by this judgment, proven to be the Supreme Court of the people of Nigeria.

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“The Supreme Court has issued directives to the Federal Government for the benefit of the people and there is no option other than to comply.

“The President is under constitutional obligation to comply and enforce the decision of the Supreme Court.

“Nigerians may not be too enchanted with our Judiciary, and this may have arisen from unsubstantiated and spurious allegations of judicial misconduct, the fact however remains that we still must look to the Judiciary as the only and final resort, to protect our rights as a people and secure probity in public life.

“The Supreme Court has spoken for the people of this nation and has appropriately issued orders to the Executive and the orders of the court must be complied with.

“We cannot under any guise or pretence accept or tolerate any appearance of autocracy or dictatorship.

“Our system of democratic governance has come to stay, it must not only be respected by all and sundry but must also be jealously guarded and protected.

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“This is the greatest test or challenge to our constitutional democracy and the Executive cannot afford to disregard the orders of the Supreme Court made for the benefit of the people that elected it to power.

“I therefore on behalf of all Nigerians, call on the President to immediately direct compliance with the terms of the orders made by the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on 3 March 2023.”

The NBA President noted that “as the hardship and difficulties encountered by Nigerians on this policy bite harder, we witnessed some feeble attempts at ameliorating the situation but as it is with every policy which fails to properly reckon with the law upon which it is meant to operate, the outcome will hardly be beneficial.

“The manner in which the CBN proceeded with the implementation almost without regard for the apparent sufferings of the people as could be seen across the country began to raise questions as to the true motive of the cash redesign policy.

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“Nigerians did not have to die and neither should there be any loss of properties on account of the implementation of a Naira redesign policy if properly undertaken.

“Unfortunately, and sadly so, that was our experience; Nigerians died, properties were destroyed and lost; there is hunger in many homes as people are unable to use their hard-earned funds which they deposited in the banks because of the apparent high handedness of the policy.

“The rural economy was stifled. Economic activities have dwindled, many farmers engaged in dry season farming have not been able to cultivate their farmlands – only about one out of every ten hectares of rice fields have been cultivated in most parts of North-western states.

“Food security has come under threat as the cash crunch has affected ability of rural farmers to engage in farming activities.

“Simply put, the implementation of the policy appears not to have a human face.”

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FG commences price enforcement in Abuja, targets Lagos, others

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The Federal Government on Thursday initiated sporadic enforcement raids at multiple supermarkets and markets within the Federal Capital Territory to ensure adherence to price display and quantity regulations, aiming to reduce the cost of food commodities nationwide.

It also said it would continue unannounced inspections at super and open markets in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Ibadan in the coming weeks to probe the abnormal price surges and take firm measures against any companies caught engaging in unfair market practices like price manipulation, excessive pricing, or cartel formation.

The Executive Secretary of The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, said this when he conducted an enforcement exercise to eliminate grocery store price gouging and illegal pricing schemes.

During the exercise that lasted several hours, the FCCPC sealed 4U Supermarket and evacuated 33 bags of fake stallion and caprice rice filled with weevils from one of the branches of the same supermarket located at 58 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the commission had ordered its operatives to intensify monitoring of both formal and informal markets to identify businesses engaged in unnecessary inflation of prices for required enforcement action.

 

This move is a direct response to concerns raised by consumers about the rising costs of goods, which go against the recent strengthening of the naira.

Food inflation has been a recurring issue influencing the steady increase of Nigeria’s headline inflation of 33.2 per cent, recording an unprecedented food inflation rate of 40 per cent in March 2024.

 

It was exacerbated by the extensive fall of the naira against the dollar in January and February leading to the soaring prices of essential goods and services, raising the costs of living costs to an all-time high.

Although the presidency had vowed to continue its campaign against racketeers, urging Nigerians to expect a stronger naira, a significant drop in the prices of essential commodities was elusive.

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said that the president had directed consumer protection agencies to ensure that the local prices reflect the rising value of the naira.

“But there is still much work to be done and this is not a time for celebration. It is a time for doubling down and working harder to ensure that inflation is sustainably brought down in short order.

 

“Consumer protecting regulatory agencies must step up enforcement to ensure that our people are not short-changed by enterprises that fail to reflect the prevailing exchange rates on the pricing of goods and services across the board.

 

“As our private and publicly-owned refineries resume operations between now and the first quarter of 2025, the nation’s cash position will dramatically improve to the extent that Nigerians can rightly expect a stronger Naira and a fair reflection of its strength in the prices of commodities in the market place,” said Ngelale.

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The Presidency also assured Nigerians of the better days ahead saying the benefits of the reforms will be “more evident” as the administration progresses.

 

“Once you join the rising spending power of Africa’s largest population with the historic availability of trillions of naira for consumer credit that will bolster the real sector, you will see why Nigerians will be most pleased that they elected a financial engineer and businessman as president by the end of his first term in office, even as the signs are increasingly more evident today,” the Presidential spokesman stated.

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BREAKING: EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, wanted over alleged N80 billion financial crimes.

 

“Anybody with information as to his whereabout should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police Station,” the commission said.

Details later…

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BREAKING: Protesters besiege PDP secretariat, demand Wike’s suspension

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reform Vanguard, on Thursday, besieged the party’s secretariat in Abuja to demand the suspension of Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

 

The group also called for the resignation of Umar Damagun as acting national chair of the PDP.

 

The group arrived the headquarters ahead of the scheduled national executive council (NEC) meeting of the PDP, while demanding that Wike should be suspended for alleged anti-party activities.

 

Speaking with reporters, Usman Seidu, convener of the group, said Damagun and Wike have “undermined our collective efforts and jeopardised our very existence as a formidable opposition force”.

 

“We commend our former National Chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu for his demonstration of unwavering loyalty and love for our party by withdrawing all pending suits against the party in the court,” Seidu said.

 

“His actions have paved the way for our great party to move forward, to cleanse our ranks and restore integrity to our leadership.

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However, the presence of individuals like Amb. Iliya Damagun and Mr. Nyesom Wike within our midst remains a cancerous growth on the body of our party.

 

“Their actions, tantamount to betrayal, have undermined our collective efforts and jeopardised our very existence as a formidable opposition force.

 

“The time has come for the NEC to act decisively. Amb. Iliya Damagun must be removed from his position as acting national chairman, in accordance with the provisions of our party’s constitution.

 

“He must be replaced with a loyal member from the north-central, someone who embodies the spirit of our party and will work tirelessly for the advancement of its course.

 

“Furthermore, we cannot turn a blind eye to the continuous presence of Mr. Nyesom Wike within our ranks. His romance with the APC has been handsomely rewarded with his appointment as minister of the FCT and as such, his stay is a slap in the face of every loyal member of our party.

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“If the party fails to take decisive action against those who have betrayed our trust, then it risks losing the faith and support of it’s loyal members across the country.”

 

Wike attended the national caucus meeting of the PDP on Wednesday.

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