Rights activist ask FG, CBN to comply with court judgment over new, old Naira notes; says vote buying should be addressed institutionally
Mr Inibehe Effiong a human rights activist and legal practitioner has described the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Naira redesign judgment by the Supreme Court as concerning.
He made the remark while appearing as guest on a private national television on Wednesday stressing that the issue is quite concerning since the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has stated that the judgment or decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is final in all matters without prejudice to the powers of the President or any other authority whatsoever.
He reasoned that the certified True Copy of the Judgment of the Supreme Court should have been served on the Attorney General of the Federation who will in turn notify the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Chief Law officer of the Federation.
According to him, commercial banks will be hesitant to comply with the judgment without any sort of communication or clearance from the Central Bank of Nigeria and wondered why the Federal Government of Nigeria has not made a pronouncement on compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court up till now.
Inibehe referenced the antecedents of the Buhari administration on issues affecting the judiciary and its non-compliance with Court orders saying that it is no surprise that the government has maintained an uncomfortable silence on the matter.
He opined that there is no alternative to the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on every Nigerian and should be complied with.
He however acknowledged that the policy as envisaged by President Buhari succeeded in reducing vote buying to the barest minimum.
According to him, for the first time in his adult voting life nobody shared money in his polling unit and with no money to even buy essential food items, it was almost impossible for any vote buying to take place.
On the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to curb vote buying, he said the commission is simply unserious at doing its job.
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria has the records of what they gave out to banks as new currency and all the EFCC needed to do was to just check the records and go for the culprits.
Inibehe urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to ensure the people caught with Dollars and huge amount of money running into millions of the new notes during the election period are punished according to the law so that Nigerians can be convinced that the Naira Redesign and Currency Swap Policy was pursued in good faith.
He called for the implementation of the section in the Electoral Act which prescribes punishment for Vote Buying and Other Electoral Malpractice.
He said an institutional way of addressing Vote buying is the way to go not what is being done right now.