From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Federal High Court sitting in Awka has in a suit instituted against the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) by Incorporated Trustees of African Initiative Against Abuse of Public Trust (ITAIAAPT) on behalf of over 50 million Nigerians in different rural areas without a bank account, directed the Plaintiff to put the defendants on notice.
The order was to compel the defendants to come to the court and show cause why the Plaintiff’s prayers, should not be granted them.
In the suit, the CBN, its Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) are 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.
The three Defendants have Chief Musa Tolani, an Aba Abia state-based legal practitioner as their joint Counsel, while Mr N.D.Agu filed the Suit marked FHC/AWK/CS/195/2022 for the Plaintiff.
Speaking on the Suit, Chief Tolani said the Plaintiff’s prayers were for the court to order an interim injunction restraining the defendants, particularly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Godwin Emefiele, either by themselves or their privies or agents from taking any step to enforce the implementation of the policy on the redesign of Naira and non-physical exchange of the old notes with the new notes without a clear policy on how to accommodate over 50 million Nigerians without bank accounts.
The Plaintiff’s Prayers/ Relief(s) included granting accelerated hearing and determination of the Substantive Originating Summons, granting the Claimant Leave to serve Godwin Emefiele and Attorney General of Federation with the Court processes by substituted means by posting or transmission through DHL Courier Services.
The plaintiffs also sought an order directing and barring the CBN and Emefiele by themselves or agents from taking any steps to dissipate, discountenance or in any other manner inhibit over 50 million Nigerians without bank accounts from using alternative means to exchange old notes with the redesigned notes.
They equally prayed the court for an ” Order of departure from the rules by abridging the time within which the Defendants may file their respective Counter Affidavit to substantive originating summons to a period of five days from the date of service of the processes”.
After hearing the Plaintiff’s and defendants’ Counsel, the presiding judge, Justice H. A. Nganjiwa granted Reliefs A and B to the Plaintiffs to enable the 3rd Defendant (AGF) be served with the Originating Processes and Leave to serve him by substituted means by posting.
He thereafter adjourned to January 19, 2023, for hearing of the Motion on Notice for the Interlocutory Injunction.