The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has challenged the legal
standing of the human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN to pray the Federal
High Court to compel the CBN to stop the alarming depreciation of the Naira.
In the preliminary objection filed against Falana’s suit on
the falling rate of the Naira and dollarisation of the economy, the apex bank
questioned Falana’s locus standi and also challenged the jurisdiction of the
Federal High Court to entertain the case.
Beside, the apex bank wants the case dismissed on the ground
that it is statute barred.
In his reliefs in the originating summons, Falana in the
suit number : FHC/L/CS/470/23 is seeking
the order of the Court to stop the CBN from allowing market forces to fix and
determine the exchange rate of the Naira vis a vis other currencies in line
with Section 16 of the Central Bank Act.
In addition, the senior advocate prays the Court to compel the CBN to
stop the dollarisation of the economy since Section 20(1) of the Act stipulates
that the Naira is the only legal tender in Nigeria.
The plaintiff has prayed the Court for a declaration that by
virtue of Section 16 of the Central Bank Act,
the legal tender acceptable in Nigeria is Naira and kobo and that by the
combined effect of Sections 15 and 20 (1) of the Central Bank Act, the currency
notes issued by the Defendant shall be legal tender in Nigeria
Falana also prayed the Court for a declaration that by virtue of Section 16 of
the Central Bank Act the exchange rate of the Naira shall be determined, from
time to time, by a suitable mechanism devised by the Defendant for that
purpose, as well as declaring that the Defendant is not competent to allow
multiple exchange rates of the Naira vis a vis the Dollars and other foreign
The Plaintiff further pray for a declaration that by virtue
of Section 20(5) of the Central Bank Act the Defendant is under a legal
obligation to prosecute any person who refuses to accept the Naira as a means
of payment in Nigeria.
He therefore want the Court to hold that in line with the
CBN Act the exchange rate of the Naira shall be determined, from time to time,
by a suitable mechanism devised by the Bank for that purpose.
However in the preliminary objections filed on behalf of the
bank by Mr Adeleke Agboola, SAN, the CBN contended that Falana has not in any
way shown that he stands to suffer more
than other citizens of Nigeria concerning the exchange rate policy of the CBN,
adding that Falana has no locus standi
to institute the case and that he has not reported those who are trading in
dollars in Nigeria.
Other objections include the fact that Falana has not shown
that the CBN acted in bad faith and that the plaintiff has not disclosed a
reasonable cause of action against the CBN.
The Bank is therefore urging the honorable court to dismiss
the suit or in alternative strike out the suit on the ground that it lacks
jurisdiction to entertain it.
The Bank argued that the Honourable Court lacks the
requisite jurisdiction to entertain the suit and that the Plaintiff has not
disclosed a reasonable cause of action against the CBN.
The Bank further submits that the action is statute barred
and that the action is not competent and maintainable against the Defendant.
In addition it submitted that the substantive reliefs sought
for by the Plaintiff has been overtaken by events, following the Central Bank announcement of
unification of all segments of foreign exchange market in its Circular of 14
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