Leon Usigbe – Abuja
A meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) ostensibly arranged to discuss the ongoing cash swap failed to hold on Tuesday.
The president was said to have canceled it in view of the court order forbidding government from extending the February 10, 2023 deadline for the swapping of old Naira notes for the redesigned ones.
Presidency sources affirmed that the President was wary about the possible perception of disregard for lawful orders should anything be done to the policy at this time.
Despite the cancellation of the meeting, the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal and the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, had a private meeting with the president in his office.
It was not immediately clear what they discussed as none of them spoke to waiting reporters.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, also met with the president just as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was also sighted emerging from the meeting with the president.
Asked whether there was a contemplation of policy change, the CBN boss declined to answer and instead sought to shield his face from correspondents.
Recall the Federal Capital Territory high court had on Monday stopped the CBN from extending the use of the old naira note beyond February 10, 2023.
The suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2234/2023, listed the CBN, President Buhari and a number of banks as defendants in the suit.
The presiding judge, Eleojo Enenche, ordered the CBN not to extend the deadline pending the determination of the suit.
The court held: “An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the defendants whether by themselves, staff agents, officers, interfacing banks or whosoever not to suspend, stop, extend, vary or interfere with the extant termination date of use of the old N200, N500, and N1000 bank note being 10th day of February 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
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