The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to comply with the Supreme Court judgment which extended the use of old Naira notes to 31st December, 2023.

In a press statement obtained by CITY LAWYER and dated March 13, 2023, the apex bank noted that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

According to the statement signed by Mr. Isa AbdulMumin, Acting Director of Corporate Communications, “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.”

Continuing, the apex bank stated that “Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.

“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”

CITY LAWYER gathered that the Bankers Committee met yesterday

The Supreme Court had nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution. Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, dismissed the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states), as the court held that it had jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, the court held that the dispute between the Federal Government and states must involve law or facts. The apex court further held that President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast admitted that the policy is flawed with a lot of challenges.

Pre-empting the CBN’s announcement, Anambra State Governor and former CBN Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo said: “

“Commercial banks have been directed by the central bank to dispense old currency notes and to also receive same as deposits from customers,” the governor said.

“Tellers at the commercial banks are to generate the codes for deposits and there is no limit to the number of times an individual or company can make deposits.

“The governor of the CBN gave the directive at a Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday, 12th March, 2023. The Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, personally confirmed the above to me during a phone conversation on Sunday night.

“Residents of Anambra are therefore advised to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200; N500; and N1,000) as well as the new notes.”

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had in a statement by its President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN, urged the CBN to comply with the apex court’s order, even as President Muhammadu Buhari had noted that he had not directed the CBN or the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN to disobey the Supreme Court order.

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