BY BARR. JESUTEGA ONOKPASA
The funny thing about law is that it is what it is and not what you wish to make of it.
The Supreme Court’s order restored things to the status quo ante, therefore absolutely ALL DENOMINATIONS REMAIN LEGAL TENDER till the court says otherwise.
What President Muhammadu Buhari has done in his truly weird and most unbelievable national broadcast this morning is to seek to sit on appeal over a Supreme Court order!
It is not up to him or the CBN to pick and choose which denominations are legal tender – the Supreme Court says all are legal tender.
It is not up to the government or anyone else, for that matter, to pick and choose what parts of a court order to obey.
By insisting only the “old” 200 naira notes, and, not its 500 and 1000 naira counterparts, are legal tender, our President is most rascally attempting to exercise extrajudicial review over a pronouncement of the Supreme Court.
That is as brazenly illegal as it gets and it is now our very President, himself, performing unconstitutionality and machinating anarchy in our country!
This is just too irretrievably shameful.
Truth is, regardless of Mr. President’s patently illegal dictats, the position of the law, as it stands, is that absolutely all denominations are legal tender!
Indeed, it is the constitutional obligation of Mr President to enforce the law, as such, or he is violating his oat of office, engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors, and, performing gross misconduct.
If our President, for some truly befuddling reason, feels it is his entitlement to break the law while hiding under the dishonourable hedge of immunity, the Attorney General of the Federation has no immunity and can be jailed for contempt.
Justice Adamu Hobon once jailed the Attorney General of Edo State for contempt committed by the Governor of the state.
It is the particular, unavoidable and inescapable duty of the Attorney General to enforce the law as it is and has been ordered by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has spoken and the Attorney General must compel obedience to its order across the country.
If he does not do so immediately, including, if need be, by arresting the Governor of the Central Bank and matching him before a judge, the Supreme Court should immediately send him to prison.
The prison is under the authority of the Attorney General, anyway, so he can do his work from there to effect the order of the court.
Something truly bizarre is presently unfolding in our country with a full-blown constitutional crisis in the making being precipitated by none else than our President, himself!
It is up to all of us, Nigerians, to uphold the law and preserve the authority of the courts or we lose our very civilisation, itself.
*Barrister Jesutega Onokpasa, a lawyer and member, All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Abuja.