The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari at no time instructed the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.
This was said following the refusal of the CBN to issue a statement in reaction to the Supreme Court order which ruled that old naira notes remain legal tender till December.
In a statement on Monday, the Presidency said since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law, and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.
It said the CBN has no right to wait for the President to make a statement before reacting to the court ruling.
“Following ongoing intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency therefore wishes to state clearly that Pres. Buhari has not done anything knowingly & deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice.
“The President is not a micromanager & will not, therefore, stop the AG & CBN Gov from performing details of their duties in accordance with the law. In any case, it is debatable at this time if there is proof of willful denial by the two of them, of the orders of the apex Court.
“The directive of the President, following the meeting of the Council of State, is that the Bank must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position.
“It is an established fact that the President is an absolute respecter of judicial process and the authority of the courts.
“He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now that he’s leaving office.
“The negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust, as no court order at any level has been issued or directed at him.
“As for the cashless system @cenbank is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President.
“It is therefore wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement.
“The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
“President @MBuhari has also rejected the impression that he lacks compassion, saying that “no government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration.””