Governor Biodun OyebanjiGovernor Biodun Oyebanji

The Ekiti State Government has submitted an application to become a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court regarding the naira redesign policy and the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the exchange of old notes with new ones.

Mr. Dayo Apata, SAN, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, lodged the application for joinder at the apex court on Friday, seeking three reliefs.

The attorneys general of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states, acting as plaintiffs in the suit numbered SC/CV/162/2023, have taken legal action against the Attorney General of the Federation, who is the defendant. This lawsuit pertains to the naira redesign policy and the deadline set by the CBN for the exchange of old currency notes.

The Ekiti State AG, is in the application “seeking leave of this honourable court (Supreme Court) to join the Applicants as a Co-Plaintiff in this suit; an Order of this Court joining Attorney General of Ekiti State as a co-Plaintiff in this suit; and for such order or further order that this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in this circumstance of this suit”.

Apata had premised the application on grounds including “acute shortage in the supply of naira notes in Ekiti State since the announcement of the policy by the Federal Government through the CBN.”

The state government also averred that “the directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria had affected the livelihood and had inflicted excruciating pain and hardship on all Nigerians, including citizens of Ekiti State.”

It also averred “that the directive of the FG has also adversely affected the revenue, levies and taxes accruable to the coffers of Ekiti State Government as economic activities in the state are now completely paralysed.”

The state government said, “The directive of the FG on the naira redesign has also created palpable anxiety among the citizens of Ekiti.”

It stated, “Ekiti is a federating state of Nigeria and therefore has an interest in the determination of the Originating Summons in the suit earlier filed by the three states in the federation,” adding that “having a common interest as other plaintiffs and also in the outcome of the suit, sought the leave of the Court to be joined as a co-plaintiff in order to be bound by the outcome of the suit.”

It also stated that no injustice or embarrassment will be occasioned to any of the parties on record if it is joined as a co-plaintiff to ventilate the grievances of Ekiti State.

The state government supported its application with the argument that the apex court had always been of the position that anyone whose presence is crucial and fundamental to a suit must be made a party to the proceedings.

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