Lawyers and human rights activists, Tope Akinyode and Olumide Babalola, have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, because of the introduction of the cashless policy in the country.
The cashless policy, which was introduced in 2012, seeks to reduce the amount of cash transactions in the country as well as encourage more digital payments. However, the policy has been facing a lot of criticism in recent years, as many claim it has led to increased transaction costs, as well as a lack of financial inclusion in rural areas.
In the lawsuit, the lawyers argue that the policy is unconstitutional and in violation of the fundamental rights of citizens. They also argue that the policy is discriminatory and seeks to restrict citizens’ right to financial autonomy. Furthermore, they allege that the policy violates the Constitution's provisions on freedom of choice and privacy.
The lawsuit is being supported by the Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Initiative (HRDAI), a coalition of non-governmental organisations that seeks to promote and defend human rights. The organisation has urged the government to review the policy and to ensure that it respects the human rights of its citizens.
In response, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a statement defending the policy, stating that it is in line with international best practices and is aimed at increasing financial inclusion. The statement also noted that the policy has been successful in reducing cash transactions, promoting financial literacy, and encouraging digital payments.
It remains to be seen whether the lawsuit will be successful in overturning the policy. However, it is clear that the policy has been a source of controversy, and it will be interesting to see how the government responds to the allegations raised by the lawyers.