Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has warned that the state government will shut any bank that refuses to accept old naira notes in the state.
This is coming on the heels of an application filed at the Supreme Court, to join an ongoing suit against the Federal Government over the new naira policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The warning is sequel to complains received from the people that some commercial banks and some filling stations are rejecting the old naira notes.
Governor Abiodun gave the warning on Tuesday during his re-election campaign tour of Abeokuta North Local Government, while addressing party faithful and Market men and women, at different gatherings.
The governor frowned at the action of the banks, noting that, since the new naira notes are not available, commercial banks must accept and also give out the old notes, as ruled by the apex court and agreed by National Council of State, to ease the suffering of the people.
The state government had earlier filed an application at the Supreme Court, seeking to join Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States, in a suit against the Federal Government of Nigeria, over the policy which introduced new notes of N200, N500 and N1000.
The state, in a Motion of Notice filed by its counsel, Afe Babalola and Co, on February 13, sought to be joined as 4th plaintiff/applicant, in a suit number SC/CV/162/2023.
The applicant in the Notice further stated that it sought to be a co-plaintiff for the just and effective determination in the suit instituted by the other three plaintiffs.
The governor called on the people to remain calm, assuring that his government was working assiduously to ensure that the present situation was brought under control.
The state also notified the Supreme Court that it shall rely on all the processes already filed in this action in addition to the affidavit in support of the application.
Listing 13 grounds upon which the application was predicated, the plaintiff submitted among others, that the implementation of the CBN policy has thus far negatively affected the citizens all over the federation which includes Ogun State, and left several residents of the state stranded, cash strapped and frustrated leading to riots, grievous interruption of commercial activities, and a gradual economic downturn in the state.
It added in the Motion on Notice, that the plaintiffs commenced this suit vide an Originating Summon, dated on the 3rd of February, 2023 challenging the policy of the Federation being currently carried out by the Central Bank on Nigeria on the ground that same is not in compliance with the extant provisions of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 20 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and the extant laws of Ogun State.
The plaintiff submitted further that: “Ogun State is one of the constituent members of the Federation recognised under the provision of Section 3 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The Attorney General of Ogun State seeking to be added or joined as the 4th plaintiff in this suit is the Chief Law Officer of Ogun State vested with the power and responsibility of representing Ogun State in legal matters including the protection of the interest of Ogun State by challenging any law, policy or action of the Federal Government perceived to be in violation of the laws of the Federation for the order and good government of Ogun State.
“The implementation of the policy has totally paralysed and brought to standstill, the economic activities of Ogun State and also severely impaired the government’s ability to deliver on its economic agenda to the people.
“The already existing Plaintiffs and Defendants will not be prejudiced in any way by the grant of this application which had been brought in the interest of justice and right to fair hearing to join the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined as a co-plaintiff.
“This application is necessary in order to prevent a multiplicity of suits.
“It is necessary to join the Applicant of this suit in order to allow for a complete and just determination of this suit.
“This suit is liable to be defeated if the Applicant, who is a necessary party to this suit, is not joined.
“If this Honourable Court refuses this application, the interest of Ogun State and its people would be prejudiced by any contrary decision given by this Honourable Court in the substanstive suit.
“The applicant is ready to be bound by the eventual judgment of this Honourable Court;
“The leave of this Honourable Court is required to add or join this Applicant/Party seeking to be joined as a Co-Plaintiff.
“It is in the overall interest of justice and fair hearing that this application is duly considered and granted by this Honourable Court”.