The Supreme Court has ruled that old Naira notes must remain in circulation until December.
The old and new naira notes must be circulated concurrently until December 31, according to the Supreme Court’s order. A seven-member Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the old and new naira notes must be distributed concurrently until December 31.
A seven-member justice panel headed by Justice Inyang Okoro ruled unanimously on Friday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign and withdraw old N200, N500, and N1000 notes without consulting the states, the Federal Executive Council, or the National Council of State was unconstitutional.
The supreme court noted that, as required by the CBN Act, no reasonable notice was provided prior to the policy’s implementation.
The federal government’s preliminary objection to the apex court’s jurisdiction to hear the 16 states’ lawsuits challenging the currency policy was also dismissed in the lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim.
The panel decided that the CBN, as an agent of the federal government, did not need to be involved in the case as a party.
In the past, the Supreme Court had instructed commercial banks and other financial institutions to continue using the old notes until the motion was decided on February 15.
The supreme court moved the case against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the naira redesign policy to Wednesday, February 22, and stated once more on February 15 that its order suspending the implementation of the February 10 deadline on the old naira notes still exists.
The Zamfara, Kogi, and Kaduna state governments’ lawsuit regarding the currency swap policy was further adjourned to March 3, 2023, on February 22.
On February 16, the President addressed citizens amid nationwide protests over a lack of cash as a result of the CBN’s implementation of the currency redesign policy.
To alleviate supply pressures, particularly for citizens, he had declared that the old N1000 and N500 notes were no longer legal tender and had only permitted the old N200 notes to be recirculated as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes.
The governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had requested that the President direct an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued use of all old notes until the end of the year to mitigate the negative effects of the policy decision to redesign the currency on their constituents. However, the action fell short of their demands.
Those dissatisfied with the Federal Government’s decision to phase out N500 and N1000 notes were joined by more governors.