Four newly appointed High Court judges and nine Special Advisers have been sworn in by Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle in order to strengthen the administration’s handling of justice and other matters.
Alhaji Jamilu Iliyasu, the governor’s press secretary, said this in a statement on Saturday in Gusau.
The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kulu Aliyu, gave the new judges and advisers their oaths of office while the governor oversaw the proceedings.
Gov. Matawalle praised the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Naira redesign policy in a statement made shortly after the swearing-in.
He, however, noted that the policy came at a wrong time, making it difficult to implement.
Matawalle directed security agencies in the state to arrest those rejecting the old naira notes, saying that it was against constitutional rights of citizens.
“Anyone who refuses to accept the old currency notes of N200, N500 and N1000 in the state should be arrested,”Matawalle said.
The governor noted that the old currency notes remained legal tender until the final verdict of the Supreme Court on the matter.
“My self, my Kogi and Kaduna states counterparts are seeking the Supreme Court to order the extension and validity of the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes.
“As you are all aware, the economy of the country has been plunged into a serious crisis by the decision of the CBN to cease recognition of the old Naira notes as legal tender from Feb. 10.
“This decision compounded the already dire situation of our state, occasioned by banditry and sundry crimes, which significantly disrupted economic activities in the state and the subregion over the years,” Matawalle added.
According to him: “It was in consideration of the grave consequences of this disruptive policy which was not well thought out, that I took the decision to team up with the sister states of Kaduna and Kogi to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court.
“Our aim is to ensure that both the new and old naira notes remain as legal tender beyond Feb.10.
“The Apex Court has already given an interim injunction barring the CBN from enforcement of its plan of derecognizing the old notes as legal tender from today, pending its final ruling on the matter on February 15,” he added.
The governor said: “I am using this opportunity to commend the Supreme Court for doing the needful, as it will alleviate the suffering of the masses.
“This courageous decision by the Supreme Court has no doubt saved the country from sliding into a crisis of great proportion that may affect the peace and stability of the country and possibly prevent the holding of the general elections billed for this month.
“I have joined in this salvaging mission, notwithstanding my proximity and good rapport with President Muhammadu Buhari,” Matawalle said.
He expressed happiness that the old currency was now valid and people could still use and make transactions with it until the final vadict of the Supreme Court.
“Our hope is that the Naira notes will remain legal tender, and the people can continue with their legitimate businesses and earn their livelihoods without fear or concern,” he said.
On the new appointees, Matawalle said their appointments were based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and their unwavering commitment to the rule of law, track record of hard work, and qualifications.
According to him, one of the key responsibilities of the judiciary is to uphold the rule of law, ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected.
He implored them to play critical roles in upholding the constitution while protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of their status or background.
He, therefore, expressed his administration’s continued commitment to support the new judges in their endeavours and ensure that the judiciary in the state continued to deliver justice efficiently and fairly.
He called on them to live by their oath of office and ensure equity and fair play in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Matawalle assured them of his administration’s continued support, to confront their operational challenges for effective service delivery.
The governor also called on the people to continue to pray for peace and prosperity of the state. (NAN)