CBN Defends Arabic Inscriptions On Naira Notes In Court

LAGOS NOVEMBER 9TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The Central Bank of Nigeria has vehemently opposed a suit before the Federal High Court in Lagos praying that the Arabic inscriptions on naira notes be removed.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, who filed the suit before Justice Mohammed Liman, contended that having Arabic inscriptions on the naira notes portrays Nigeria as an Islamic state, contrary to the country’s constitutional status of a secular state.

Omirhobo, who said he does not know what the Arabic inscriptions mean, is praying the court to order the CBN to replace the Arabic inscriptions with either English language, which is the country’s official language, or any of Nigeria’s three main indigenous languages – Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo.

According to the lawyer, with the Arabic inscriptions on the naira note, the CBN has been violating sections 10 and 55 of the Nigerian Constitution, which make the country a secular state.

He wants the court to restrain the CBN from “further approving, printing and issuing naira notes with Arabic inscriptions, bearing in mind that Nigeria is a secular state.”

But the CBN has filed a counter-affidavit in opposition to the suit.

In the counter-affidavit deposed to by one Abiola Lawal, the CBN maintained that contrary to Omirhobo’s claim “the Ajami inscriptions on some of the country’s currencies do not connote any religious statements or Arabian alignment.”

The CBN also tackled the lawyer on the claim that the Arabic inscriptions were a threat to Nigeria’s secular status.

“The inscriptions on the country’s currencies do not and at no time have they threatened the secular statehood of the nation nor have they violated the Constitution of Nigeria, as every design and inscription was finalised with the approval of the relevant government bodies,” the apex bank said.

The CBN explained that the “Ajami inscriptions” on the naira notes dated back to the colonial era “and they do not imply that Arabic is an official language in Nigeria.”

Punch

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Posted by on Nov 9 2020. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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