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Malami, Emefiele on their own for disregarding S’Court- Buhari

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that he did not authorize both Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to disregard Supreme Court judgment on both new and old Naira notes, saying the duo must have acted on their own.

Buhari stated that since assuming office as the president of the country there was no time he had instructed anyone including Malami and Emefiele, to disobey court judgement on cases involving the apex government and other parties.

The president, who had distanced himself from the currency crunch crisis, noted that his silence on the Supreme Court judgement that the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes be returned to circulation was not to interfere with judicial processes.

He stressed that both public officeholders were expected to have complied with the apex court judgment without waiting for his stance on the pronouncement made by the Supreme Court on the Naira note.

Buhari, in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday, stated that there was no proof of him willfully preventing both Malami and Emefiele from performing their roles as stated by the law.

The President argued that he was not a micromanager and would not stop the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from performing the details of their duties in accordance with the law.

While stating that his principle of democracy had not changed and that his view was based on a strong belief that there cannot be better democratic practice without the rule of law.
Buhari has also rejected the impression that he lacks compassion, saying no government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration.
According to the statement, “Following the ongoing intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, therefore, wishes to state clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice. 
“The directive of the President, following the meeting of the Council of State. is that the Bank must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position.
“It is an established fact that the President is an absolute respecter of judicial process and the authority of the courts. He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now when he is getting ready to leave office. 
“The negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust, as no court order at any level has been issued or directed at him.
“As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President. 
“It is therefore wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement. The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President”.

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