The Central Bank of Nigeria has defended the inscription of Arabic letters on Naira notes.
The apex bank kicked against a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos asking that the inscriptions be removed.
The suit was filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo .
The late legal practitioner argued that the inscriptions vehemently contravenes the secularism nature of Nigerian constitution; thus they must be removed.
In his suit, he prayed that the court should order CBN to replace the inscriptions with English language words , or any of Nigeria’s main i languages – Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo.
In a counter-affidavit l, the CBN claimed that, “the Ajami inscriptions on some of the country’s currencies do not connote any religious statements or Arabian alignment.”
The CBN rejected the lawyer’s claim, saying that the inscriptions don’t pose any Nigeria’s secular nature.
“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 naira notes retained the inscriptions with Ajami since 1973 when the name of the Nigerian currency was changed to naira from pounds.
“The Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam but an inscription to aid the populace uneducated in Western education in ease of trade,” the apex bank argued.
The CBN added that removing the Arabic inscriptions“would cost the tax-paying Nigerians and the Federal Government colossal sum of money to discard the existing naira notes and print new ones in satisfaction of the plaintiff.”
Hearing in the suit comes up on Tuesday (today) before Justice Liman