By FEMI OGUNSHOLA
ABUJA- The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for going ahead to implement the currency swap policy in spite of the Supreme Court order.
Gbajabiamila said this in a statement he personally signed in Abuja on Thursday.
He said though the president’s directive was a step in the right direction, but pointed out that the Federal Government could not afford situations that “suggest disregard for the rule of law”.
He flayed the decision of the federal government for maintaining silence on the Supreme Court order on currency swap.
The apex court had earlier given an order for the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to remain legal tender, pending the determination of a case brought before it by some state governors.
The apex court on Feb. 15 also reiterated its order and adjourned the matter to Feb. 22.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast on Feb. 16, said he had instructed CBN to reintroduce the old N200 note until April 10, while the old N1,000 and N500 had stopped being legal tender.
He said the decision of the federal government still fall short of the order of the Supreme Court that the old currencies remained legal tender.
Gbajabiamila urged the citizens to bear the moment with equanimity for the sake of the country, urging Nigerians to work together to resist actions that can escalate tensions.
“In all things, let the well-being of our fellow citizens and the survival of our nation be foremost in our hearts and guide all the decisions we make in this historic moment.”
Gbajabiamila said “citizens and visitors were experiencing grave and unnecessary hardship across the country.
“They spend hours and days queuing at banks and teller machines to receive stipends of their own money to afford life’s necessities.
“This situation is a consequence of the flawed implementation of the Naira redesign policy by the CBN.
“It is also the result of decisions made by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to refuse counsel, be guided by precedent or abide by the decisions of superior courts.”
He said it was disheartening that the CBN had refused to admit error and changed course in the face of mounting evidence that the implementation of the policy had been a devastating failure. (NAN)