Supreme Court orders old notes to remain legal tender till Dec 31
…Declares Buhari’s order on new naira invalid
The Supreme Court has invalidated the new naira design policy initiated by the Federal Government on the grounds that it was not done with due consultation and in line with constitutional provisions.
Following, the apex court ordered that the old naira notes shall continue to be used side by side with the new naira notes till December 31, 2023.
The court held that the three months timeline was also not in tune with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act and as such unconstitutional.
Besides, the apex court argued that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), usurped the powers of the CBN when he issued the directive banning the old naira notes of N1,000, N500 and N200 notes from February 10, 2023.
Delivering judgement, the court considered the defendants’ argument that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide on the case.
The court held that the dispute is between the states and the government of the Federation and within the original jurisdiction of the court
It held that the government of the federation should have held adequate consultation to avoid massive disruption of government operations and trades.
It invalidated the argument that the CBN was the proper party to be sued, maintaining that it was not the action of the CBN that is being challenged but the validity of the decision of the President to redesign the naira, release the new notes into circulation and withdraw the old notes without consultation with Nigerians through the council of states and the National Economic Council.
The court held that the CBN does not have to be joined as a party in the suit as the CBN had no power to carry out the policy without the directive of the president and that the suit is not an action against the banks or the CBN.