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Supreme Court: Old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender till Dec 31

The naira redesign policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been deemed void by the supreme court.

The declaration was made by the court on Friday while delivering judgment in a case brought by three federation states.

As per a ruling by a seven-member panel of the supreme court, the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes are still valid until December 31, 2023.

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The CBN’s entire policy was criticized by the Supreme Court, which said the timing and implementation were flawed.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the plan to redesign the naira in October 2022 in order to regulate the money supply and support law enforcement in combating illicit financial flows.

On December 23, 2022, the redesigned naira notes were unveiled.

The policy’s implementation deadline, originally set for January 31, 2023, was later extended to February 10.

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On February 3, Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara filed a lawsuit before the supreme court contesting the application of the policy.

Following an ex parte application filed by the three states, the supreme court restrained the CBN from putting into effect the deadline on the use of old notes five days later.

Later, thirteen (13) additional states joined the lawsuit as co-plaintiffs. The states contended that the policy’s implementation had resulted in untold hardship for Nigerians.

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Later, the lawsuit was co-filed by thirteen (13) additional states. The states argued that the implementation of the policy has put Nigerians through unimaginable hardship.

However, Abubakar Malami, the sole respondent and attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had filed a preliminary objection to the lawsuit.

According to the AGF, the case should have been brought before a federal high court because the Supreme Court lacks the authority to hear the case.

Malami added that the plaintiffs neglected to include the CBN in the lawsuit.

News Source: The Cable

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