Supreme Court Has Ruled That Old Naira Notes Are Still Legal Tender
A seven-member panel of the supreme court chaired by John Okoro stated that since “the interim order is pending the hearing on the motion on notice”, there was no need to issue a new order.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to postpone the hearing on the state governors’ lawsuit against the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) redesign of the naira notes, the prior ruling on the subject is still valid.
Nigerians have been speculating as to whether the new N200, N500, and N1000 notes will continue to be accepted as lawful money following the court hearing on February 15, 2023.
Abdulhakeem Mustapha, the attorney for Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, pleaded with the court on Wednesday to prevent the CBN and the Federal Government from setting a deadline for the old naira notes.
Remember that the CBN originally set February 10, 2023, as the day the old notes would expire, but the Supreme Court requested the bank to extend the date.
In response, a seven-member panel of the supreme court chaired by John Okoro stated that since “the interim order is pending the hearing on the motion on notice”, there was no need to issue a new order.
It would be recalled that ahead of the February 10 deadline, the Supreme Court had issued an interim injunction “restraining the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on 10 February, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denominations of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), filed a preliminary objection after the verdict, questioning the court’s authority to hear the case.
He stated that the FG will abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the contentious cash swap scheme in an interview with Channels TV.
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