The presidency on Monday said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has no reason not to comply with the judgement of the Supreme Court on usage of the old naira notes that has crippled the nation.
It also said President Muhammadu Buhari never told the Attorney General and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to defy the Supreme Court’s judgement on the issue of N500 and N1,000 notes.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Monday said the CBN has no reason not to comply with the court’s order on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
He said: “the Presidency wished to react to some public concerns that Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgment on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes.
“Since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practice democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.
“Following the ongoing intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency therefore wishes to state clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice.
“The President is not a micromanager and will not, therefore, stop the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from performing the details of their duties in accordance with the law. In any case. it is debatable at this time if there is proof of willful denial by the two of them on the orders of the apex court.”
“It is an established fact that the President is an absolute respecter of judicial process and the authority of the courts. He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now when he is getting ready to leave office.
“The negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust, as no court order at any level has been issued or directed at him.
“As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President,” he said.
According to Shehu, it is therefore wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement.
“The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
“President Buhari has also rejected the impression that he lacks compassion, saying that “no government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration,” he said.