Two legal luminaries have said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s disobedience of the Supreme Court’s order has belittled the country’s constitution.
The lawyers said while commenting on the CBN’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court order last week restraining it from implementing the February 10 deadline on currency swap.
It was gathered that Mr. Harris Gbole, Senior Advocate of Nigeria; and Kehinde Eleje, a lawyer; made this submission while speaking on the development during a Channels Television interview on Wednesday,
Gbole stated that CBN’s conduct is contempt of the Court and against the rule of law.
He said it is the duty of everyone to obey court orders, saying CBN’s action is unfortunate.
“Only yesterday or so, they insisted again that the February 10 deadline stands, which is an insult against the Supreme Court and judiciary, which is unfortunate.
“The duty of obedience to the court order is for all and sundry. When there is an order from the Court, and you are dissatisfied, the best thing to do is to appeal against the order or approach the Court and seek to join as a party rather than sit back and say you will not obey, that is contempt of Court, and it is against the rule of law,” he said.
In his own words, Eleje stated that the country is heading for anarchy as a result of the CBN’s defiance of the court order.
“We are heading for anarchy because most Nigerians do not operate electronic transactions, especially those in the rural areas.
“It is unfortunate because the CBN is a creation of the constitution, the duty which is incumbent upon everyone, no matter how high, who is aware of an order that affects their interest, is to take legal steps to challenge such an order. No matter how highly placed, it is beyond any individuals to take the law into their own hands and take it as if it does not exist. It does not demonstrate civility, arrogance and irresponsibility because it is a well-known fact that the order is necessitated by the CBN’s conduct which in the first place failed to do the needful. I do not see any justification for the conduct of the CBN”, he stated.
Recall while addressing the diplomatic communities in Abuja, on Tuesday, the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, declared that there is no need to extend the February 10 deadline.
The government of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had filed suit against the federal government and CBN seeking to halt the implementation of the cash swap deadline but the case, on Wednesday February 15 adjourned to Wednesday February 22 for hearing by Supreme Court.