Ekiti State Government Joins Suit Against FG, CBN over Naira Scarcity

By Samuel Ogunsona

The State Government of Ekiti has joined the suit to sue the Federal Government over Naira Redesign Policy approval and the deadline issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the swap of old notes for new ones.

The policy had brought misery to majority of Nigerians.

Recall that three state governors including Kaduna state governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, dragged the Federal Government before Supreme Court over the deadline of old note swap

The Governors who seek declaration that the Demonetization Policy of the Federation being currently carried out by the CBN under the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari is not in compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and actual laws on the subject also ask the Supreme Court to declare that the three months notice given by the Federal Government and CBN under the directives of Nigeria President, Muhammodu Buhari, as inadmissible.

The Application for Joinder was filed on Friday at the Supreme Court by the Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, SAN seeking three reliefs.

The suit with the number SC/CV/162/2023 has Attorneys General of Kaduna State, Kogi State and Zamfara State as Plaintiffs while the Attorney General of the Federation is the Defendant.

The three reliefs being sought by the Attorney General of Ekiti State are:

  1. Leave of this Honourable Court to join the Applicants as a Co-Plaintiff in this suit,
  2. An Order of this Court joining Attorney General of Ekiti State as a Co-Plaintiff in this Suit; and
  3. And for such order or further ordered that this Honourable Court may seem fit to make in this circumstance of this suit.

Some of the grounds upon which the application was premised include acute shortage in the supply of naira notes in the State since the announcement of the policy by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Applicant, Ekiti State Government, averred that the directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria has affected the livelihood and has inflicted excruciating pain and hardship on all Nigerians, including citizens of Ekiti State.

The state government equally averred that the directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria has also adversely affected the revenue, levies and taxes accruable to the coffers of Ekiti State Government as economic activities in the State are now completely paralyzed.

He further averred that the directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria on the Naira redesign has also created palpable anxiety among the citizens of Ekiti State.

Another ground upon which the application was premised was the fact that Ekiti is a federating state of Nigeria and therefore has interest in the determination of the Originating Summons in the suit earlier filed by the three states in the federation.

Ekiti State Government averred that having common interest as other Plaintiffs and also in the outcome of the suit sought the leave of the Court to be joined as a Co-Plaintiff in order to be bound by the outcome of the suit.

It stated that no injustice or embarrassment will be occasioned to any of the parties on record if he is joined as a Co-Plaintiff to ventilate the grievances of Ekiti State.

The sole issue formulated for determination is “whether the Applicant has made a case for the Honourable Court to favourably consider the Application.”

This was supported by an argument that the Court has always been of position that anyone whose presence is crucial and fundamental to a suit must be made a party to the proceedings citing the authorities of Green v Green (1987) 3 NWLR (PT 61) 480; Peenok Inv. Ltd v Hotel Presidential (1983) 4 NCLR 122 and LSBPC v Purification Tech (Nig) Ltd (2013) 7 NWLR (PT 1352) 82@ 107.

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