Breaking: Ganduje, Akeredolu sue Buhari, CBN to court over Cash Withdrawal limits

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In response to the directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria restricting daily cash withdrawals from banks, the Ondo State Government filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja.

Ondo state government is pleading with the Supreme Court to block the implementation of the directive issued by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria on the limitation of daily cash withdrawals from banks, which has completely paralyzed and brought to a standstill the activities of Ondo state government and has negatively affected economic and social conditions, in an originating summons filed and signed by Sir Charles Titiloye Ksm FCArb on Thursday.

The Ondo State Government argued that the Federal Government’s daily maximum cash withdrawal policy violated its legal rights and those of its citizens to access funds for the implementation of development projects, provided small credit facilities to petty traders (who do not have bank accounts), and was extremely harmful to the state’s regular commercial activities.

The Ondo State Government urged the Supreme Court to rule that Section 2 of the Money Laundering Act, which specifically relates to limitations on cash withdrawals for individual and corporate organizations to Five (5) million Naira and Ten (10) million Naira respectively, cannot be amended or varied by directive issued through the Central Bank of Nigeria. According to the CBN’s revised guidelines, the maximum withdrawal for an individual or corporate entity is now set at N500,000 and N5,000,000, respectively.

The Ondo State Government has petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on whether the Federal Government’s guidelines on the maximum daily cash withdrawal and the ongoing suffering and hardship brought on by the implementation of the said policy are not in violation of Section 2 of the Money Laundering Act and Sections 20, 39, and 42 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which are express provisions.

Less than 500,000 people in the state of Ondo have bank accounts that can be used for bank transfers, according to the state government, despite the fact that it has more than 149 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to manage on a daily basis. As a result, the state’s economy has been completely paralyzed by federal policy.

According to the Ondo state government, residents of the state now waste valuable time waiting in line at bank ATMs to withdraw the new Naira notes, while residents of rural areas and villages without access to banks or internet services are unable to receive or transfer money to meet their daily financial needs.

The Federal Government’s stated policy was being implemented, and the Government pleaded with the Supreme Court to step in and stop it.

In a related matter, the Ondo state government applied to the Supreme Court to join the lawsuit brought by Zamfara, Kaduna, and Kogi states regarding the window of opportunity for citizens and the government to exchange the old Naira note for the new Naira note. Sir Charles Titiloye Ksm FCArb, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo State, requested in a motion on notice signed and submitted on Thursday, February 9, 2023, that the Supreme Court join the Ondo state government in its earlier lawsuit challenging the Central Bank of Nigeria’s deadline of February 10, 2023, for the conversion of Old Naira Notes into New Naira Notes.

The Attorney General noted that the incoherent demonetization policy currently implemented by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria is causing the same severe economic and financial hardship for the government and people of Ondo State.

In addition, the Abdullahi Ganduje-led government of Kano state filed a lawsuit against the federal government in the Supreme Court on Thursday evening over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira redesign policy.

The Kano State Attorney General is requesting that the Supreme Court rule that President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) cannot unilaterally order the Central Bank to recall the now-outdated N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes without first consulting the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council, respectively, in suit number: SC/CS/200/2023, which was spotted by The PUNCH.

Because the Federal Government’s decision to remove the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes from circulation has an adverse effect on the economic wellbeing of more than 20 million Kano residents, the Kano government is requesting a mandatory order to reverse the decision.

Additionally, the applicant is requesting a mandatory order compelling the Federal Government to change its naira redesign policy in response to an alleged violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The applicant is also pleading with the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to change its cash swap policy because it allegedly violates the 1999 Constitution and other existing laws.

“A Declaration that the President cannot unilaterally without recourse to the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council respectively give approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the implementation of cash withdrawal limit pursuant to the demonetization economic policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the suit reads.

The Kano State Government further requested a declaration that the president’s order to the CBN to implement the cash withdrawal limits policy in response to the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s demonetisation was illegal, unconstitutional, and null and void in the originating summons.

The applicant is also asking for a court order that would force the Federal Government to change its position on the recall of old banknotes for allegedly breaking the terms of the Constitution and other existing laws.

Remember that the Supreme Court issued an interim order to the CBN on Wednesday telling it not to stop using old naira notes on February 10, 2023. The three applicant states—Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara—had filed the order ex parte.

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