Old Naira Note Still Valid- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ruled the former 1000, 500, and 200 Naira Notes as still valid legal tender in Nigeria till December 31, 2023.
The Federal Government’s policy to redesign the naira was declared invalid by the apex court, which issued the ruling on Friday, declaring it an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
This judgement was made by the Supreme Court in the suit brought against the Federal Government on the Naira redesign.
Sixteen states of the Federation filed the lawsuit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
The original lawsuit brought by the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara has been designated as the first case on the cause list for the final verdict
Today, February 22, was set by Justice John Inyang Okoro, who presided over a seven-member group of Justices for the court to announce its ruling on the lawsuit.
The 16 states, headed by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, are asking the supreme court to nullify and set aside the policy because it is putting innocent Nigerians through hardship.
They demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s order be revoked on the grounds that he had introduced and carried out the policy without consulting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
On its part, the Federal Government challenged the jurisdiction of the Apex Court on the grounds that the CBN was not joined as a party and that the dispute on the policy ought to be directed at the CBN so that the suit can be referred to the Federal High Court.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello were in court to witness the judgement on Friday. The two governors were also in court at the last hearing. Also, Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle was in court on Friday.
Recall that the CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians but the Supreme Court, after a suit filed by the states, held that the Federal Government, the CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a national broadcast last Thursday, directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days — by April 10, 2023. He also said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.