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Old naira notes remain valid till December, says Supreme Court


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The has ordered that the Old naira notes,  N200, N500, and N1,000  remain in circulation until December 31.

The court further stated that the President’s disobedience to the February 8 order is indicative of a dictatorship.

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On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that the N200, N500, and N1,000  will remain in circulation until December 31, 2023.

The supreme court invalidated the Federal Government’s policy to redesign the naira, deeming it a violation of the 1999 Constitution.

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Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead opinion, ruled that the preliminary objections of the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation and the states of Bayelsa and Edo) are dismissed because the court has the authority to hear the case.

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Supreme Court Ruling on Old naira notes

Invoking Section 23(2)1 of the Constitution, the court determined that the dispute between the Federal Government and the states must involve either law or facts.

The supreme court also ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the policy’s flaws and numerous obstacles in a broadcast.

The court stated that the policy again the Old naira notes has led some individuals in the modern era to engage in bartering in order to survive. The court added that the President’s disobedience to the February 8 order is indicative of tyranny.

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Sixteen states of the Federation filed the lawsuit to challenge the legality of the policy’s implementation.


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The suit initially filed by the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara will be the first case to receive a final ruling.

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On February 22, Justice John Inyang Okoro, who presided over a panel of seven Justices of the Court, set today as the date for the court to announce its ruling on the lawsuit.

The 16 states, led by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, are petitioning the supreme court to declare the policy null and void on the grounds that it imposes hardships on innocent Nigerians.

They accused the President of usurping the role of the CBN in introducing and implementing the policy and demanded that Buhari’s directive be nullified.




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Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State were present in court on Friday to observe the verdict. The two governors were present at the previous hearing. Governor of the state of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, was also in court on Friday.


Background story on Old naira notes

The CBN extended the deadline for the exchange of old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes from January 31 to February 10 in response to complaints from many Nigerians. However, the Supreme Court, in response to a suit filed by the states, ruled that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the resolution of a notice regarding the issue.

However, in a national broadcast, the President directed the central bank to release old N200 notes into circulation alongside new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for sixty days, or until April 10, 2023. Additionally, he stated that old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.

There have been a flurry of responses and harsh criticisms against the President’s directive, including from All Progressives Congress governors (APC).

Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), (Ondo), and (Kano), as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and many stalwarts of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have openly criticised

Leading Senior Advocates of Nigeria, such as and , have criticised the President’s action, stating that he cannot overrule the supreme court.

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In addition, the governors of the states of Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi have filed a lawsuit against Malami and the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, for contempt of court and alleged failure to comply with the Supreme Court’s order regarding the old naira notes.

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