An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama has refused to grant a motion seeking to stop the new cash withdrawal policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The application was brought before the Court by Adamu Sarki, Shekwoyi Gaza, Philip Tanko and seven other applicants for themselves and on behalf of 20 million unbanked Nigerian citizens against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, CBN and CBN Governor.
The applicants prayed the Court to grant injunctions restraining the Respondents from proceeding with the 31st January 2023 deadline of the use of the current N200, N500 and N1,000 notes as it affects the applicants without any realistic plans or workable guidelines to cover the over 20 million unbanked Nigerians, who are vulnerable to information and the use of the technologically driven platform without the possibility of financial inclusion.
They prayed for another injunction restraining the Respondents from implementing the revised cash withdrawal limiting the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organizations per week to N100, 000 and N500, 000 respectively, which is a violation of Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2002 and which also constitutes a flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of the applicants as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
Furthermore, they asked the Court to grant an order for an accelerated hearing of the Suit and also an order for substituted service on the parties while also praying for the order of the court mandating the CBN to produce a detailed plan and guidelines covering the over 20 million unbanked citizens, who are vulnerable to the use of telecommunication and technologically driven money platforms.
Justice Oriji having listened to the counsel to the applicants refused the prayers for an injunction but rather directed that all the respondents be put on notice to come and show cause why the order for an injunction should not be granted against them.
The judge thereafter adjourned the matter to 10th January 2023 after granting orders for accelerated hearing and substituted service.