Lawyers have described yesterday’s broadcast by Buhari directing the reintroduction of N200 notes after the withdrawal of the old notes as contempt of court. Femi Falana (SAN) said it amounted to overruling the Supreme Court.
He said, “With respect, the decision of the president to exclude old N500 and N1000 notes from the legal tender of Nigeria is of no legal effect as it constitutes a contravention of Section 287(1) of the Constitution, which provides that ‘The decisions of the Supreme court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court.’
“In view of the foregoing, we urge the federal government to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court without any further delay. “After all, President Buhari says loudly that he has since become a converted democrat.”
Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law, Monday Ubani said the president’s announcement to the country was in clear contempt of the Supreme Court, saying Buhari should have allowed the judicial process to run through.
“His intervention, though well intended as posited by some economists, sends a dangerous signal in our democracy.
“The international community is watching to see how much we mess our system up,” he said.
Similarly, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) said the announcement amounted to a modification of the decision of the Supreme Court.
“It may not necessarily amount to a contempt of court in that the president might not have intended to disparage the judiciary by his modification.”
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