October 4, 2023

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi  Akeredolu, has commended the Supreme Court on its verdict over the controversial naira policy of the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying the ruling was well-considered.

Akeredolu, who blamed the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami for allegedly misadvising the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on the policy, said the CBN acted irresponsibly on the matter.

The governor stated this in a statement he issued on Friday.

According to Akeredolu, the ruling of the apex court was in tandem with the position of his government on the matter.

He said, “The CBN Governor and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice misadvised the President to assume powers of an Emperor answerable only to himself and no other authorities as enshrined in the law.

“It is deplorable to witness small businesses collapse with unbelievable rapidity. We have been regaled with tales of the dehumanisation of ordinary Nigerians who have been forced to strip themselves naked in banking halls weeping to be given their monies kept with the banks.

“Some have lost their lives, needlessly, for being unable to access their deposits in the banks upon demand. The Governor of the CBN acted most irresponsibly when he claimed to be exercising powers, that the CBN Act does not invest in his office.

“He was quoted as saying that he was fighting corruption, money laundering and vote-buying. He acted, ultra vires, goaded by his political permutations. The AGF equally misled the President to act beyond the limits of his executive powers. Nigerians have been punished unduly. As the Supreme Court has pronounced, the law must be allowed to rule. There are statutory functions allotted to bodies in the 1999 Constitution, as amended. These bodies must be allowed to exercise those functions. Anyone purporting to act in contravention of the extant laws does so, either ignorantly or mischievously. The letters of the law are simple and understandable if the people in authority embrace less mischief.”

Akeredolu implored the Federal Government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court immediately, saying there was no other alternative open to it.

“We congratulate the states which challenged this obnoxious policy implementation and hope that our banks will release the deposits of Nigerians in their custody upon demand forthwith as there will be grave consequences for the continued seizure of the hard-earned monies of citizens.

“There is no gain in asserting the obvious. The whole policy may have been well conceived. Its implementation has been politically driven. The CBN Governor is a partisan of injustice and oppression. Most governments, perhaps with the exception of a negligible few motivated by the possibility of deriving unexpressed political advantages,  cannot meet simple obligations to their citizens. It is most unfortunate.

“As we enjoin the officials of the Federal Government who may be directly involved in putting into effect the spirit and the letter of the Supreme Court ruling to do so immediately, the Ondo State Government will not hesitate to proceed against persons and institutions whose activities impede its ability to discharge statutory obligations to the people. There is no justification for the pains to which our people have been subjected for obvious political reasons”, he declared

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