Featured Headline News

Old N200, N500, N1,000 to remain in circulation

Photo: Ripples

The Supreme court has ruled that the old and the new naira notes; N200, N500 and N1,000 remain in circulation as a legal tender until the December 31, 2023.

The Apex court on Friday held that the demonetisation policy was not in consonance with the constitution, adding that the 3 months notice was not satisfactory.

The seven-man panel of Justices led by Emmanuel Agim, held that the decision of the president on the new monetary policy should have been made after consultation with all the stakeholders and not the decision being handed down after personal engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

On the argument that the CBN is not a party to the suit, the court held that the argument is invalid on the bases that the introduction of the new naira policy is the action of the federal government who is a defendant in the suit.

According to supreme court, the CBN is an agency of the government which only act on the dictates of the Presidency.

Therefore, it maintained that CBN was an unnecessary party to the suit, adding that the suit can be heard and determined without the joinder of CBN as a party.

Also, Justice Agim held that the court had the jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit, therefore, dismissed all the preliminary objection for lacking in merit.

The plaintiffs are satisfied

16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara challenged the policy at the apex court, seeking that the policy be set aside on the grounds that it was inflicting hardship on the polity.

Reacting to the decision of the apex court, Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and Nasir El’Rufai of Kaduna state said it was for the benefit of the people of the country. 

Governor El-Rufai expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari would obey the Supreme Court judgement.

He told journalists in Abuja that he had told the President that if Governors close to him could go against him as a result of the policy, the policy would not stand the test of time.

The Governor alleged that the president was deceived by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who he said was working for the opposition party to scuttle the chances of the APC at the just concluded presidential elections.

Earlier reactions

President Muhammadu Buhari at the peak of outcries and criticisms of the policy defended it saying it was going to check corruption and money politics ahead of the 2023 general election.

The policy had led to a shortage of cash nationwide and led to a high use of online transactions, resulting to protest across the nation over the scarcity of the naira, while lesser denomination of N100, N50, N20 became popular demand.

In order to quell the tension Zamfara and Kaduna state government outlawed the rejection of the old notes; N200, N500 and N1,000.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu, Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Muzha Kucha