Two senior legal practitioners have said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s defiance of the Supreme Court’s order has rubbished the country’s constitution.
The legal luminaries were reacting to CBN’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court order last week restraining it from implementing the February 10 deadline on cash swap.
Mr. Harris Gbole, Senior Advocate of Nigeria; and Kehinde Eleje, a lawyer; made this disclosure while speaking on the development during a Channels Television interview on Wednesday,
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On his part, Gbole stated that CBN’s conduct is contempt of the Court and against the rule of law.
He said it is the duty of all and sundry to obey court orders, describing CBN’s action as 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.
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Eleje stated that the country is heading for anarchy following 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.
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On Tuesday, while addressing the diplomatic communities in Abuja, the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated that there is no need to extend the February 10 deadline.