Naira Redesign: "Old Notes Remain Legal Tender, Use It", Supreme Court to Nigerians

Naira Redesign: "Old Notes Remain Legal Tender, Use It", Supreme Court to Nigerians

Today, Wednesday, February 22, is the D-Day. The Supreme Court will hear the suit filed by some state governors against the federal government regarding the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.

Nigerians have been facing untoward hardship over the policy which has led to the scarcity of Naira notes as the Nigerian government wants to force the citizens to go cashless.

Anxiety as Supreme Court Gives Final Verdict on Naira Redesign Policy Today
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As the Nigerian government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remains adamant about implementing the policy, some state governors approached the Supreme Court.

The apex court has adjourned the hearing twice but ordered the FG against implementing the February 10 deadline for the old Naira notes swap.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari ignored the court's order when he recently announced that only the old N200 notes remain legal tender till April 10. He asked Nigerians to deposit their old N500 and N1000 notes at the CBN and other designated places.

This led to a direct confrontation between him and some governors. Against Buhari's directive, the governors directed residents of their states to continue to spend the old Naira notes until the Supreme Court rules otherwise.

Today, this will hopefully be settled. Stay tuned as Legit.ng provides live updates of the proceedings at the apex court.

Naira redesign: "Old notes remain legal tender, use it" - Supreme Court to Nigerians

The Supreme Court has insisted that the old Naira notes remain legal tender pending the final judgement of the case to be delivered by the apex court on March 3, 2023.

Defending this, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (CBN) Babatunde Ogala, in a chat with journalists after the Wednesday adjournment said since there was no pronouncement by the court vacating the order at its sitting, the order remains in force.

Ogala added that the order was clear, straightforward and qualified. He said the order was therefore more than seven days that an interlocutory order should last.

For further clarity, the senior legal practitioner said until March 3 when the Supreme Court gives its judgment, the old N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender.

BREAKING: Supreme Court fixes judgment for March 3 on cash swap

The Supreme Court has fixed judgment for March 3 in suits filed by some states against the naira swap policy of the federal government.

A nine-member panel led by Justice John Okoro announced the date after taking final arguments from lawyers to parties in the cases.

Taking arguments on Wednesday, the counsel for the government, Kanu Agabi, said the court held that all reliefs are rooted in section 20 of the CBN Act.

He argued that the apex court has no jurisdiction to hear the suit as the action cannot commence with an Originating Summons.

He also contended that the plaintiffs did not deem it fit to the CBN to court as a respondent despite making reference to the apex bank 32 times in their originating summons and despite the fact that seven of the reliefs sought to relate to the CBN.

He asserted that Nigerians were already turning down the old notes by President Buhari's directive.

Agabi also asserted that by asking Nigerians to deposit their old naira at the CBN designated centres, the president was abiding by the court order and that Buhari is empowered under the constitution to veto any legislation.

Naira redesign: Supreme Court hears states’ suit against FG, CBN

The court is hearing the suits filed by the states against the naira swap policy of the Buhari-led government.

The court’s nine-member panel presided over by Justice John Okoro, said the court will deliver judgment as soon as possible.

The court is hearing the case filed by Niger state.

Naira redesign: "We won’t be your scapegoat", Supreme Court tells FG, states

The apex court has stated that it would not allow the Federal and states governments turn the Judiciary to a scapegoat in the legal dispute that is currently trailing the ban on use of the N200, N500 and N1,000 old banknotes as valid legal tenders.

Justice Inyang Okoro, who is heading a seven-man panel of the apex court, made the declaration while consolidating various suits that different states filed to halt the full implementation of the Naira swap policy that was recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Justice Okoro said:

“We want to make it very clear that we are going to hear this matter today because we don’t want a situation where the judiciary will be made a scapegoat.
“With the way this matter is going, they want to make the judiciary a scapegoat but we can’t allow that.
“We are going to hear everything and take our decision. If you have a contempt proceeding, we will also hear it today.”

Supreme Court says Naira Crisis Suits Must Be Decided Today

The Supreme Court has insisted that the dispute over the naira redesign and swap policy must be decided today, according to Daily Trust.

The seven-member panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro said new parties wishing to join the suit would no longer be allowed.

The panel said new parties would abide by the outcome of the existing suits or file a new one after the determination of the present suit, but that the matter must be determined today.

“You may file a fresh suit after this suit,” Justice Amina Augie said.

Legit.ng gathers that the court was responding to an application by the Attorney General of Abia State seeking to join the suit as a separate suit similar to the one earlier brought by the Rivers state government.

Naira redesign policy: Rivers joins suit as Supreme Court hears case

The Rivers state government has joined 10 other states in the suit challenging the naira redesign policy, TheCable stated.

At the court session on Wednesday, Emmanuel Ukala, representing Rivers, applied that the separate suit filed by the state should be consolidated with that filed by other plaintiffs.

The application was granted by a seven-member panel of the apex court.

Recall that the suit was initiated by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara.

Updated list of states fighting FG over Naira redesign policy

On February 8, the supreme court restrained the CBN from giving effect to the deadline following an ex parte application brought by the three states.

  1. Kaduna
  2. Kogi
  3. Zamfara
  4. Ondo
  5. Ekiti
  6. Katsina
  7. Ogun
  8. Cross River
  9. Lagos
  10. Sokoto
  11. Rivers

Meanwhile, two other states are on the side of the federal government. They are:

  1. Edo
  2. Bayelsa
Authors:
Onyirioha Nnamdi avatar

Onyirioha Nnamdi Onyirioha Nnamdi is a graduate of Literature and English Language at the University of Lagos. He is a Politics/Current Affairs Editor who writes on news and political topics for Legit.ng. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in creative and analytical writing. Nnamdi has a major interest in local and global politics. He has a professional certificate from Reuters and was awarded the editor with the best listicle for 2021. Contact: 08062988054, o.nnamdi@corp.legit.ng

Nurudeen Lawal avatar

Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at Legit.ng, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at lawal.nurudeen@corp.legit.ng or +2347057737768.

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