Divergent opinions have been made by stakeholders in the energy industry about the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the usage of old Naira notes until December 31.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos, they discussed their various points of view.
According to NAN, the Supreme Court declared on Friday that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will continue to be lawful cash and in use until December 31.
The Federal Government’s Naira Redesign Strategy was also declared invalid by the Supreme Court, which said it violated the Constitution of 1999.
The Supreme Court’s decision, according to Mr. Emmanuel Iheanacho, Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., came too soon after the recently completed Presidential and National Elections, which were held on February 25.
The purported Supreme Court decision coming at a time so close after the end of the general elections in 2023 does sound very unusual.
He said, “I’m sure this is an issue that will trouble the minds of astute political watchers.
It is important, according to Dr. Ayodele Oni, Partner at Bloomfield Law Practice, to highlight that the Supreme Court’s initial jurisdiction was unambiguous and explicit.
He claims that the original jurisdiction is not applicable to the case.
“To appear to act in accordance with that would be to continue the exploitation of the legal system and create a dangerous precedent for the future.
“Going forward, any laws and decisions that are politically divisive or have an impact on politicians will be seen as being inside the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction.
“For instance, INEC’s purported non-compliance with the IReV has now gone before the top court, being a disagreement between the Federal Government and the disgruntled politicians holding gubernatorial seats, which generally should amount to an abuse of judicial procedure,” he added.
Yet he said that the ruling may subsequently serve as a model.
“Despite the above, the CBN is not now required to comply with the order since it has been sweeping up old notes and because it was not involved in the Supreme Court lawsuit.
“I wonder whether this decision isn’t already meaningless.
Oni said, “It is interesting to note that today, March 3, the Supreme Court made the extremely troubling judgment that CBN is an agency and need not be joined before its policy will be placed before the supreme court in a similarly ludicrous case.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association’s (IPMAN) Mr. Mike Osatuyi, National Operations Controller, praised the Supreme Court’s decision.
Osatuyi, however, said that the members of lPMAN will follow the court ruling while “waiting for a direction from the Federal Government”.
We are law-abiding marketers at IPMAN, and we are prepared for whatever the orders are. “The order has just been issued; let’s await the government’s answer before taking any more action,” he added.
The National Coordinator of Where Is The Light, Mr. Sina Odugbemi, said that the Supreme Court did not err by delaying the announcement of its decision until after the presidential elections.
Odugbemi asserts that there are several interpretations that might be made of the verdict.
“We had elections last week and saw the results; we’ll have another one next week, and you’ll be able to see the difference.
“It will be made abundantly evident what part money plays in elections. This will be the most important lesson, if there is one to learn.
“The policy has not entirely achieved its purpose, and all the pain that the ordinary man has endured has been in vain.
He said, “The failure of the purpose also highlights the difficulty of replacing the existing system.
According to the electricity expert, the Supreme Court’s decision will undoubtedly relieve millions of Nigerians who had endured unimaginable misery.
The politicians who are intent on buying votes are the true victors in this entire ordeal, according to people who claim to have money stored away.