The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the preliminary objection the Federal Government filed to challenge its jurisdiction to hear the suit that 16 states filed to challenge the ban on use of old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes as legal tenders in the country.
The apex court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that FG’s contention that it lacked the original jurisdiction to halt the full implementation of the Naira swap policy that was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, was invalid.
It held that contrary to FG’s position, the case the states brought for determination bordered on alleged failure by President Muhammadu Buhari, in the exercise of his Executive powers, to comply with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The apex court held that the plaintiffs were not wrong by not joining the CBN as a necessary party to the suit.
It held that the suit qualified as a dispute between FG and the federating states, to which the Supreme Court has exclusive and original jurisdiction to determine.
“It is glaring that the CBN has no power to introduce new Naira if there is not directive by the President. The CBN is an agency of the Federal Government.
“The suit as constituted could be effectively determined without joinder of the CBN.
In the light of the foregoing, I good that all the preliminary objections lacked merit and there are accordingly dismissed”, the apex court held.