Supreme Court Extends The Use Of Old, New Banknotes Indefinitely

The Supreme Court has ruled that both the redesigned and old Naira banknotes remain valid legal tenders in the nation beyond December 31.

The apex court, on Wednesday, in a ruling by a seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro, stated that the banknotes should remain in circulation, pending when the federal government, after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, decides on the matter.

It made the order after hearing an application that was moved on behalf of the federal government by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

The court had earlier on March 3 nullified the ban on the use of the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes as valid legal tenders by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The apex court held that the old Naira notes should be spent alongside the redesigned currencies until the end of the year.

In its lead judgment that was prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the Supreme Court slammed the federal government for unilaterally introducing the demonitization policy through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) without consulting the Federal Executive Council, the Council of States, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

The court noted that FG failed to give valid notice to all the federating units before making its decision to withdraw the old currencies from circulation and introduce new ones.

The Supreme Court maintained that evidence before it established that a purported notice on the monetary policy was through “mere press remarks” by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the CBN.

It held that such remarks fail to qualify as “reasonable notice” to the states as envisaged under Section 20(3) of the CBN Act.

The court also invalidated the directive President Muhammadu Buhari gave in the broadcast he made on February 16, which allowed only the old N200 note to remain a legal tender until April 10.

While accusing President Buhari of disobeying the interim order it made on February 8, which directed that the old banknotes remain legal tender till the determination of the case before it, the court stressed that the President, by going ahead to ban the old banknotes, acted in a way that was harmful to democratic governance.

According to the apex court, having violated its order, FG lost its right to be granted an audience before it.

Following the end of the Buhari-led administration, the President Bola Tinubu-led administration re-applied to the Supreme Court for an indefinite extension of its December 31 deadline.


One thought on “Supreme Court Extends The Use Of Old, New Banknotes Indefinitely

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *