Supreme Court Stops CBN From Implementing Deadline For Old Naira Notes
The Federal Government has been forbidden by the Nigerian Supreme Court from carrying out the deadline of February 10 for the old 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes to cease being legal cash.
Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, three northern states, have asked the supreme court to block the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign program in a motion ex-parte filed on February 3.
An interim injunction prohibiting the Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria, commercial banks, and other parties from enforcing the February 10 deadline for the old 200, 500, and 1000 Naira notes to cease being legal tender was granted by a seven-member Supreme Court panel led by Justice John Okoro in a unanimous decision.
The court further ruled that the FG, CBN, and commercial banks could not enforce the deadline until February 15, when a notice on notice about the matter would be decided.
This decision maintains the legal tender status of the old Naira notes in Nigeria.
Five political parties and three state governments started legal disputes on Monday, adding to the commotion around the February 10 deadline for the validity of three old naira notes.
While the governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara took the Federal government to the Supreme Court to request an extension to the February 10 deadline, five political parties took the case there and won an order prohibiting the Federal Government and the apex bank from doing so.
The CBN had already stated its intention to redesign the three currencies on October 26, 2022. On November 23, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari revealed the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes; the apex bank set a deadline for the old notes’ usability of January 31.
Additionally, the CBN set weekly cash withdrawal caps of N500,000 for private persons and N5,000,000 for corporate businesses.
The apex bank responded to complaints from many Nigerians by extending the deadline from January 31 to February 10 and claiming that the President had given his permission.
Following a meeting with certain APC governors on Friday, Buhari requested seven days to make a significant decision about the strategy.