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Just In: Supreme Court Extends Old Naira Note Deadline



Supreme Court Extends Old Naira Note Deadline


Iexclusivenews Nigeria reports that on Friday, March 3, 2023, the Nigerian Supreme Court ruled that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes must continue to be legal tender through December 31, 2023.


According to this news source, the Supreme Court also struck down the Federal Government’s naira redesign program, seeing it as a violation of the 1999 Constitution.


The defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, the states of Bayelsa and Edo), according to Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead judgment, had raised preliminary objections. However, the court has the authority to hear the case, so the defendants’ objections are overruled, he said.


The court held that the conflict between the Federal Government and states must concern law or facts, citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution. The supreme court further ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the policy’s flaws and difficulties in his broadcast.


According to the Supreme Court, the policy has caused some people to engage in bartering in the contemporary day in an effort to survive. The court further stated that the President’s defiance of the decree from February 8 is evidence of dictatorship.


It was also reported that sixteen federated states filed a lawsuit to contest the legitimacy of the policy’s introduction.


The initial lawsuit brought by the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara has been designated as the first matter on the cause list for a decision.


On February 22, Judge John Inyang Okoro, who presided over a seven-member panel of Justices, set today for the court to announce its ruling on the lawsuit.


The 16 states, led by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, are asking the supreme court to nullify and set down the policy because it is putting innocent Nigerians through hardship.


They demanded that Buhari’s order be revoked on the grounds that the President had introduced and carried out the policy without consulting the CBN.


Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Kogi State colleague Yahaya Bello were present in court on Friday to see the verdict. At the most recent hearing, both governors were present in court. Meanwhile, on Friday, Bello Matawalle, the governor of Zamfara State, appeared in court.


According to Iexclusivenews, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks cannot continue with the February 10 deadline pending the outcome of a notice regarding the issue. This decision follows the CBN’s decision to extend the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 in response to complaints from many Nigerians.


However, the President instructed the apex bank to put the old N200 notes into circulation by April 10, 2023, to coexist alongside the new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days. Also, he stated that the old N500 and N1,000 bills are no longer valid in Nigeria.


A rush of responses and vehement critiques of the President’s decision have been made, notably by governors of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Umar Ganduje (Kano); Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; and many stalwarts of the ruling APC have openly censured and faulted the President’s directive, arguing that it has not grounds because the case is before the apex court.


Prominent Nigerian Senior Attorneys like Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome have also criticized the President’s action, arguing that he is powerless to overturn the supreme court of the nation.


Moreover, Malami and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, have been sued by the governors of the three states of Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi for alleged contempt of court and failing to follow the Supreme Court’s judgment regarding the old naira notes.