Femi Falana, SAN, a Human rights lawyer has dragged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to Court over illegal floating of naira.
The lawyer disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily today (Friday) citing that the decision of the CBN under President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to float the naira is illegal and being challenged in court.
Recall that on June 14, when the naira was trading at a range of 730 to 755 against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window, the CBN allegedly instructed Deposit Money Banks to allow the naira to float freely against international currencies. Currently, according to the CBN website, the exchange rate is listed as N744 to N746.
Reacting to it, the lawyer argued that according to the CBN Act, the central bank is obligated to set the exchange rate.
He said: “There’s no provision for floating the naira. It’s illegal. You say, ‘The value of the naira will be determined by market forces. That is not there in the law.
“I’ve had to sue the Central Bank of Nigeria at the Federal High Court because Section 16 of the Central Bank Act has imposed a duty on the Central Bank to fix and determine the rate of the naira vis-a-vis other currency.
“Section 20(1) of the CBN Act provides that the only legal tender in Nigeria shall be the currency notes issued by the Central Bank: only the naira.
“Section 20 (5) of the Act also provides that anybody who spends any other currency in Nigeria without the approval of the central bank has committed an offence and shall be prosecuted. The penalty is six months’ imprisonment.”
The father of popular rapper and singer, Falz, stated that the Federal Government’s allocation of N5 billion for each state and the FCT as palliatives is a temporary measure intended to divert attention.
“They are temporary measures. Some of them are quite diversionary and the people in government have not addressed the root of the crisis, which is the dollarisation of the economy.
“Whatever palliatives that are announced will be eaten up by the dollarisation of the economy,” Femi Falana added.