The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Wednesday, 22nd February, 2023, adjourned a case instituted by some state Governors, against the Federal Government, challenging the implementation of the naira redesign notes, to 3rd March, 2023.
Three states Governors; Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, had initially sued the federal government over the implementation of the naira policy over the hardship they claimed the policy has brought upon the country.
In addition, they had obtained an interim order of the apex court restraining the federal government from banning the use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes pending the hearing and determination of their interlocutory applications.
While nine states had joined the case last week, six others were added at the Wednesday’s proceedings bringing it to a total of 15 plaintiffs with two states of Bayelsa and Edo taking the side of the federal government.
Besides deciding fate of the naira, the apex court would also decides on the plaintiffs application seeking to commit the AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN and the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to court for alleged disobedience of court order.
The plaintiffs had accused them of not giving effect to the interim order of the apex court issued on February 8th, 2023, directing the government not to ban the use of the old banknotes from February 10th, 2023.
Plaintiffs also dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the apex court over his directive of February 16 wherein the president directed the CBN governor to reissue only the N200 note, maintaining that the N500 and N1000 banknotes remain banned and Nigerians still in possession of the old notes should take them, to the CBN for deposit.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31st, to February 10th, 2023, 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 10th deadline, pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue on February 22nd.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a national broadcast on Thursday, 16th February, 2023, directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes till April 10th, 2023, as old N500 and N1,000 banknotes cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
Story: Christy Dung