BREAKING: Supreme court nullifies naira redesign policy, says old notes valid till Dec 31


The Supreme Court of Nigeria has issued a restraining order to President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop him from withdrawing old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes in circulation.


They supreme court faulted the entire policy of the CBN, saying the timing and implementation were defective.

The apex court ruled that the president did not follow the provisions of the constitution before implementing the policy, by consulting the National Security Council and National Economic Council before implementing


The judgement was read by Justice Emmanuel Agim on Friday morning in the presence of governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) who first instituted the suit.


The Court faulted Mr Buhari’s statement in his February 16 broadcast where he said the naira redesign was in line with global practices, noting countries like UK and Australia allowed both old and new notes to co-exist for not less than one year.


The court ruled that the old and the new banknotes should be allowed to be in circulation until December 31, 2023.

In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.


The redesigned naira notes were unveiled on December 23, 2022.


The deadline for the implementation of the policy was fixed for January 31, 2023, but it was further extended to February 10.


On February 3, a suit was initiated by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara before the supreme court challenging the implementation of the policy.


Five days later, the supreme court restrained the CBN from giving effect to the deadline on the use of old notes following an ex parte application brought by the three states.


Thirteen (13) other states later joined the suit as co-plaintiffs. The states argued that the implementation of the policy has caused untold hardship for Nigerians.


Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), who is the sole respondent, had, however, filed a preliminary objection to the suit.


The AGF argued that the supreme court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and that the suit ought to have been filed before a federal high court.


Malami also said the plaintiffs failed to join the CBN in the suit.

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