Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to directly enforce the Supreme Court decision extending the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
SERAP also asked the president to openly unveil the measures his administration is taking to obey the verdict to end the cash withdrawal limits imposed by banks because similar restrictions violate citizens right to use their property freely.
The civil society organisation made the demands in an open letter addressed to President Buhari, dated March 4, 2023, and signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
It specifically urged the President to unveil the measures his government is taking to direct the CBN to instantly re-circulate the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
SERAP claimed that there’s an overriding public interest in unveiling the details of the measures the federal government and the CBN are taking to effectively and satisfactorily obey the Supreme Court decision.
The organisation also maintained that if the government and the CBN unveiled measures they’re taking to enforce the Supreme Court judgment, it would also enable Nigerians to monitor and scrutinise the position of compliance with the decision.
It stressed that if the government broadly published the perpetration measures, it would also enhance the accountability of state officials and public confidence in the rule of law and Nigeria’s democracy.
The letter reads in part, “We’d be thankful if the requested information and recommended measures are enforced within seven days of receiving and publishing thisletter.However, SERAP shall take all applicable legal actions to compel your government to comply with our requests, If we haven’t heard from you by then.
The execution by your government of the CBN policy on redesigning the country’s currency has violated citizens’ rights.
SERAP is concerned about the patient defiance of court orders by your government and the apparent lack of respect for constitutional and international rule of law obligations.
Nigerians are entitled to the details of the status of compliance by your government and the CBN with the Supreme Court decision as a matter of transparency, justice and the rule of law.
The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and human rights treaties to which the country is a state party rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.
Your government has the legal duty to act as ordered by the Supreme Court harmonious with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the CBN Act, and the country’s international obligations.
Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended); the Freedom of Information Act; the CBN Act, and the country’s international obligations including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples ’ Rights,” SERAP stated.