President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast, according to human rights attorney Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, is in contempt of court.
The conservative activist was responding to the President’s Thursday morning countrywide broadcast. In his broadcast, Buhari had authorized and prolonged the usage of the previous 200 naira notes until April.
According to him “To further ease the supply pressures particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender.”
Reacting Adegboruwa said “The President cannot overrule the Supreme Court of Nigeria. There is separation of powers in a democracy.
“Under section 235 of the 1999 Constitution, the Supreme Court is the final authority in legal pronouncements in Nigeria.
“Under section 287(1) of the Constitution, the President is statutorily obliged to obey, enforce and give effect to the decision of the Supreme Court.
Section 287(1) of the 1999 Constitution:
“(1) 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.”
“The broadcast of the president is sad for our democracy. Since he already admitted that the matter is subjudice, the President should not have proceeded to vary the order of the Supreme Court.
“The president and indeed the executive should not give the impression that citizens can brazenly disregard lawful orders of any court, as that will only encourage anarchy and lawlessness.
“It amounts to executive rascality and brazen disregard and contempt of the Supreme Court, for the President to separate the denomination of the old notes for legality. It is not open to the President to choose which portion of the order of the Supreme Court that will be obeyed.
“The President should reverse his directive and add the N500 and N1000 old notes, failing which the Supreme Court should overrule the directive of the President in on February 22 when the case comes up.”