From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Federal High Court (FHC) has terminated the quest by the Incorporated Trustees of African Initiative Against Abuse of Public Trust (Trustees) to restrain and or stop the Central Bank of Nigeria Nigeria ( CBN), it’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and their Agents/Assigns from taking any step to enforce the implementation of the policy on the redesign of the Naira notes.
Also terminated was the quest for non-physical exchange of the old Naira Notes with the new notes without a clear policy on how to accommodate the over 50 million Nigerians without Bank Accounts.
On November 30, 2022, the Trustees had on behalf of over 50 million Nigerians in different rural areas without bank Accounts, dragged the CBN, it’s Governor and the AGF to the Awka division of the FHC Court as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants respectively in the Suit marked Suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/195/22.
The court had directed the Plaintiff to put the Defendants on Notice and adjourned the hearing of the Motion on Notice to January 19, 2023.
The Plaintiff had N. D. Agu, as their Counsel, while an Aba, Abia State-based legal practitioner, Chief Musa M.Tolani led other lawyers namely, Charles Nwabulu, Henry Opurum and Gideon Umeh for the 1st and 2nd Defendants.
At the resumed hearing of the Suit on January 19, 2023, Counsel for the Plaintiff /Trustees, N. D. Agu orally applied to discontinue the suit and withdraw same based on undisclosed instructions from his clients.
But while the 1st and 2nd Defendants’ lead Counsel, ( Chief Tolani ) did not oppose the discontinuation of the suit and withdrawal of same, he however, vehemently argued and applied for N50m as punitive cost to be awarded against the Plaintiff hence the 1st and 2nd Defendants had filed cupious processes in response to the Plaintiff’s ‘ Originating Summons.
According to the ruling of the court contained in the Certified True Copy of the Enrolled Order dated January 31, 2023 obtained yesterday, the Court presided over by Honourable Justice H. A. Nganjiwa, after considering the circumstances of the case and arguments of the Counsels to the parties, ordered that the suit be struck out.
The Honourable Court, in acceeding to argument of Chief Musa M.Tolani, also awarded the sum of N300,000.00 as cost against the Plaintiff in favour of the CBN and its governor who are the 1st and 2nd Defendants respectively.