The ruling All Progressives Congress on Tuesday explained why it could not mete out sanction to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for defying the Supreme Court verdict on the controversial cash swap policy.
The scarcity of the new naira notes brought about by the CBN policy had generated tension and visited untold hardship on the masses.
In the last two months, a considerable number of Nigerians have thrown caution to the wind and invaded several banks to register their displeasures in bizarre manners.
Viral video clips of half-clad customers breaking down bank gates and threatening to beat officials have surfaced on social media space.
The situation forced a number of states including three notable APC governors, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna; his Kano State counterpart, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to file a suit against Emefiele and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Supreme Court.
The cash squeeze created bad blood between the presidency and the camp of the APC, with many alleging that it was a subtle move to scuttle the presidential ambition of the party candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Consequently, the Supreme Court ruled that the old N200, N500a nd N1,000 notes should be allowed to co-exist with the new one until December 31.
The apex court further held that the President’s directive on the redesign of the new notes without due consultation was invalid.
But the CBN failed to heed the verdict and threw Nigerians into another round of confusion and harrowing experience.
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, explained that as much as Emefiele was one of the party aspirants who bought presidential nomination forms, the decision to hire or fire him rests with the President.
He said, “Emefiele was hired by the president and he serves at the pleasure of the president. So no one person or a group of persons even in the party has the authority to hire and fire the CBN governor. That is the exclusive prerogative of the president.
“The president has its power as constituted by law and under the CBN Act as well. As I earlier said, everything concerning the hiring and firing of the CBN governor rests with the president. The position of the party on that is irrelevant. He makes the decision as he chooses.”
Meanwhile, Buhari has denied instructing Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to defy the Supreme Court Order on the naira redesign policy.
Buhari made the disclaimer in a series of tweets posted by the presidency on Monday evening.
According to him, the apex bank has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives.
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