New Naira: Falana Faults CBN For Inciting Nigerians Against Banks

Femi Falana, legal luminary and human rights activist, has criticized the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for mismanaging the fallout from the Naira redesign policy.

Giving the criticism on Tuesday, during an interview on Channels Television, Falana, accused the CBN of fuelling the uprising against banks due to the scarcity of new Naira notes.

Falana also frowned at the uncertainty caused by the intentional silence on CBN’s part over the deadline of the Naira swap.

“The CBN appears to have incited the public against the banks whereas no new notes are being disbursed to the banks. Do you know in many states, banking operations only occur in their capitals? We disregard the pains of the citizens while talking of banking. Some banks have had to close down due to the safety of their staff.

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“This programme was not thought out and many Nigerians embraced it initially for the purpose of eliminating vote-buying. There was no Committee to learn from the 1984 experience when the Buhari military junta gave just two weeks; many people committed suicide because they couldn’t collect their money,” Falana explained.

The lawyer warned against flouting the Supreme Court’s ruling over the deadline of the Naira swap.

“There is no statement from CBN directing the bank to comply with the Supreme Court judgement and whether it denies or not, the Mint and Print company is not in the position to flood the market with new notes.

“Unless you are calling for anarchy, no lawyer can say the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction. Once the court, rightly or wrongly, has granted an order, no lawyer can say it should not be adhered to because the CBN was not joined. One would have expected the CBN to issue a strongly-worded statement over the suspension of the deadline due to the current confusion amongst the people and the statement credited to the AGF Malami”, Falana posited.