Thursday, 18 April, 2024

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You lack locus standi to challenge us on Naira depreciation, CBN tells Falana


The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has challenged the legal standing of the human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN to pray the Federal High Court to compel the CBN to stop the alarming depreciation of the Naira.

In the preliminary objection filed against Falana’s suit on the falling rate of the Naira and dollarisation of the economy, the apex bank questioned Falana’s locus standi and also challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to entertain the case.

Beside, the apex bank wants the case dismissed on the ground that it is statute barred.

In his reliefs in the originating summons, Falana in the suit number : FHC/L/CS/470/23  is seeking the order of the Court to stop the CBN from allowing market forces to fix and determine the exchange rate of the Naira vis a vis other currencies in line with Section 16 of the Central Bank Act.  In addition, the senior advocate prays the Court to compel the CBN to stop the dollarisation of the economy since Section 20(1) of the Act stipulates that the Naira is the only legal tender in Nigeria.

The plaintiff has prayed the Court for a declaration that by virtue of Section 16 of the Central Bank Act,  the legal tender acceptable in Nigeria is Naira and kobo and that by the combined effect of Sections 15 and 20 (1) of the Central Bank Act, the currency notes issued by the Defendant shall be legal tender in Nigeria

Falana also prayed the Court for a  declaration that by virtue of Section 16 of the Central Bank Act the exchange rate of the Naira shall be determined, from time to time, by a suitable mechanism devised by the Defendant for that purpose, as well as declaring that the Defendant is not competent to allow multiple exchange rates of the Naira vis a vis the Dollars and other foreign currencies.

The Plaintiff further pray for a declaration that by virtue of Section 20(5) of the Central Bank Act the Defendant is under a legal obligation to prosecute any person who refuses to accept the Naira as a means of payment in Nigeria.

He therefore want the Court to hold that in line with the CBN Act the exchange rate of the Naira shall be determined, from time to time, by a suitable mechanism devised by the Bank for that purpose.

However in the preliminary objections filed on behalf of the bank by Mr Adeleke Agboola, SAN, the CBN contended that Falana has not in any way shown that he  stands to suffer more than other citizens of Nigeria concerning the exchange rate policy of the CBN, adding  that Falana has no locus standi to institute the case and that he has not reported those who are trading in dollars in Nigeria.

Other objections include the fact that Falana has not shown that the CBN acted in bad faith and that the plaintiff has not disclosed a reasonable cause of action against the CBN.

The Bank is therefore urging the honorable court to dismiss the suit or in alternative strike out the suit on the ground that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain it.

The Bank argued that the Honourable Court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the suit and that the Plaintiff has not disclosed a reasonable cause of action against the CBN.

The Bank further submits that the action is statute barred and that the action is not competent and maintainable against the Defendant.

In addition it submitted that the substantive reliefs sought for by the Plaintiff has been overtaken by events,  following the Central Bank announcement of unification of all segments of foreign exchange market in its Circular of 14 June, 2023.

Credit: Vanguard News Nigeria

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