The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says the House will reconvene if the scarcity of Naira notes persists before the 25 February presidential and national assembly elections.
Mr Gbajabiamila stated this during a town hall meeting with some ethnic groups in Surulere, Lagos, on Sunday.
According to a statement by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, after the meeting, the Speaker said the House will continue to monitor the CBN’s implementation of the policy closely.
“So, we are watching, and we are monitoring very closely. If need be, we will reconvene the House, even though we’ve all been away for our elections. I will call the House back if need be,” he said
Mr Emefiele had last week appeared before the ad hoc committee of the House looking into the new Naira notes policy.
The lawmakers and Mr Emefiele agreed that commercial banks must accept the old notes even after the deadline of 10 February.
Meanwhile, all over the country, there is the scarcity of new notes which has caused violent protests in Oyo and Edo States.
Emefiele not above the law
Mr Gbajabiamila also said the governor of the CBN is not above the law, even though the bank is expected to be autonomous.
He told the audience that he was ready to sign the warrant of arrest if Mr Emefiele had defied the House.
“I would have signed that warrant; it would have been the first time in the history of the National Assembly that a CBN governor would be arrested. I would’ve done it.
“Many have argued on the independence of CBN, the autonomy of CBN. That does not make CBN above the law. The constitution gives the House the power to issue an arrest warrant against anyone, we can summon anybody, and that was exactly what the House was going to do until the CBN governor came,” he said.
Mr Gbajabiamila said the House has shown its resolve to address the scarcity of the new notes.
He also said that amidst the ongoing hardship, the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, has identified with Nigerians and faulted the implementation of the policy at this time, which necessitated the extension of the deadline for the collection of the old currency.
He noted that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, is supporting the policy despite the hardship on Nigerians.
“So, you have the tale of two presidential candidates: one who stands with the people and says this currency swap must stop; the second one says,’ no, it cannot stop, it’s a good policy. CBN, don’t listen to him. Let the people continue to suffer.’ I leave the rest to you to determine who is with you and who is against you,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.