Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Tuesday, said the sudden disappearance of newly designed N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes has exposed the blatant failure of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and his insubstantial and not-well-thought out naira redesigned policy.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko questioned why Nigerians no longer see the three newly redesigned banknotes immediately after March 3 judgement of the Supreme Court that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes must remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.
The group said the sudden disappearance of the new notes showed that the CBN hoarded the money and deliberately subjected Nigerians to two full months of hardship between January and February 2023 and even part of March 2023 for sinister political reasons.
HURIWA, therefore, demanded the prosecution of Emefiele for inflicting untold hardship on over 200 million Nigerians, causing avoidable deaths and failure of many businesses. HURIWA accuses these CBN management of gross mismanagement and irresponsibility which have caused the nation’s economy so much loses and many small and medium scale entrepreneurs were forced to close shots with many human fatalities recorded due to the enforced cash crunch.
Barely one month after the reintroduction of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, many Nigerians have decried the unavailability of the new notes.
This is even after the old currencies had been mopped up from circulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and unavailable for use by citizens for about two months before they were officially pumped into the system on Dec. 15, 2022.
The Supreme Court on March 3 ordered The apex court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, held that the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states) are dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The apex court further held that President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast admitted that the policy is flawed with a lot of challenges. The court added that the President’s disobedience of the February 8 order, is a sign of dictatorship.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “We demand the prosecution of the CBN Governor for consistently breaching the Supreme Court’s judgment on the new Naira notes which is that both should circulate simultaneously but evidently, the CBN has hidden the new notes and is circulating old, sickly and smelly, toxic old notes only.”