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Emefiele Awaits Buhari Before Response to Supreme Court Judgement

Buhari and Emefiele

The central bank of Nigeria has yet to respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling that extended the validity of old naira notes until December 2023.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes can be used until December 31, 2023.

The Supreme Court has temporarily halted any plans to prohibit the use of old naira notes throughout the country. A seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro issued the ruling at the time, halting an ex parte application brought by three northern states: Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara.

Justice Agim held that the President acted Ulta vires by his glaring failure to consult with the National Council of States, Federal Executive Council FEC, and the National Economic Council NEC before directing the Central Bank of Nigeria to unlawfully introduce new Naira notes.

He held that the unconstitutional use of powers by Buhari on Naira Re-designing has breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in various ways.

The apex court said such use of powers by President Buhari is not permitted under democracy and in a plural society like the Nigerian nation. The court also stated that the unlawful use of executive powers by the President inflicted unprecedented economic hardship on the citizens by denying them ownership of their monies and access to the money.

However, as of Friday evening checks by Nairametrics reveal the apex bank was yet to react to the Supreme Court judgement. There is no official statement on its website and none on any of its social media handles. Some bankers who spoke to Nairametrics on the condition of anonymity also indicated that they had not received instruction from the central bank.

When the Supreme Court issued its first order in February for a stay of action on the deadline for swapping the currency, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, insisted that there was no need to shift the February 10 deadline for the swapping of the old naira with the newly redesigned naira notes.

The CBN Governor said, “The situation is substantially calming down since the commencement of over-the-counter payments to complement ATM disbursements and the use of super-agents. “There is, therefore, no need to consider any shift from the deadline of February 10.”

President Buhari also appeared to have defied the supreme court when he announced in a broadcast that he had instructed the central bank to bring back the old N200 notes.

Our sources suggest the apex bank is awaiting official communication from the attorney general of the federation since the initial suit was brought against the federal government and not the central bank. The central bank will have to instruct banks to start collecting the old notes for there to be full compliance.

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