The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit filed by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, seeking to compel the apex bank to stop the alarming depreciation of the Naira.
CBN, in its preliminary objection to the suit, is contending that Falana does not have legal standing to file the suit and that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain it.
The senior lawyer had filed the suit to challenge the falling rate of the Naira and dollarisation of the economy.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/470/23, Falana 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.
He is also asking 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 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 is also urging the court for a declaration that by 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 currencies.
Plaintiff is further seeking a declaration that by Section 20(5) of the Central Bank Act, Defendant is legally obliged to prosecute any person who refuses to accept the Naira as a means of payment in Nigeria.