By John Danjuma Omachonu
They, however, said it was risky to accept the notes until directive from either the Presidency or the CBN.
They said their decision was borne out of the controversy that followed a similar Supreme Court pronouncement that was not adhered to.
But on Friday, a seven-member Supreme Court panel nullified the policy, faulting government’s handling of the process and declaring its methodology and implementation unconstitutional.
Neither the presidency, with its ever posture of ‘business as usual’ nor CBN, which has been battling with the ‘sit tight’ owner directors of banks, inflationary pressures and dwindling foreign reserves has gone to President Buhari to take ‘permission’ to obey the ruling.
Speaking via a letter signed by the director of the Group, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP noted that the public was largely interested in the moves the presidency and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were taking to obey the court order.
The organisation noted that disclosing the plans being made to obey the court orders would enable the citizenry to closely monitor and examine the level of compliance and subsequently improve accountability.
The letter reads, “There is an overriding public interest in disclosing the details of the measures your government and the CBN are taking to effectively and satisfactorily obey the Supreme Court decision.
“Disclosing the measures that your government and the CBN are taking to implement the Supreme Court decision would also enable Nigerians to monitor and scrutinize the level of compliance with the decision
“The public should not be kept in the dark on what your government and the CBN are doing to implement the decision. Widely publishing the implementation measures would also improve accountability of state officials and public confidence in the rule of law and Nigeria’s democracy.”
Speaking further, the group warned that if the information demanded is not made available within 7 days the group would take legal actions against the Federal Government.
The group lamented that they were worried about the consistent disobedience of the government against court orders.
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They insisted that disobedience has led to the violations of the citizens right.
“We would be grateful if the requested information and recommended measures are implemented within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our requests.
“The implementation by your government of the CBN policy on the redesign of the country’s currency has contributed to violations of citizens’ rights.
“SERAP is concerned about the persistent disobedience of court orders by your government, and the apparent lack of respect for constitutional and international rule of law obligations,” the organisation added.