Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government on Wednesday vowed to prosecute anyone rejecting old naira notes as legal tender across the state.
In a statement by the state’s Commissioner, Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the governor said since the Supreme Court judgment was yet to rule on the matter, the old N200, N500, and N1,000 still remain legal tender.
This state government made this submission just hours after the Supreme Court ordered that the old notes remain legal tender pending the outcome of the suit brought before it by some governors, which has been postponed until February 22.
Omotosho stated that the state government commended Lagos residents for their patience and calm in the aftermath of the Naira shortage crisis.
He stated that the old notes remained legal tender in the state and across the country following the adjournment of the suit filed against the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The commissioner stated that the government hereby warns those who are rejecting the old notes to stop or face prosecution, stating that such action is illegal.
He added that the state government has begun distributing the food packs promised by Governor Babjajide Sanwo-Olu and that the 50% fares reduction on all state transportation facilities has been implemented to mitigate the impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on old notes, particularly on vulnerable residents.
The statement reads: “The Lagos State Government wishes to put on record the patience and calmness of Lagosians following the controversy generated by the Naira shortage crisis.
“The State Government has joined the dispute at the Supreme Court, which today adjourned the hearing of the matter till February 22. When the matter first came up on February 8, the apex court said the old notes remained legal tender.
“That position has not changed. The State Government hereby warns those rejecting the old notes to desist from doing so or face prosecution. It is against the law to reject the old notes as doing so is contrary to the position of the Supreme Court.
“Governor Sanwo- Olu urges Lagosians to remain law-abiding and shun mischief makers who may exploit this temporary situation to promote their anti-people agenda. He is confident that the Judiciary will resolve all the issues around the currency shortage crisis.
“To cushion the effect of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on the old notes, especially on the vulnerable among us, Lagos State has started the distribution of the food packs promised by the Governor. The 50% fares slash on all state transportation facilities continues, as directed by Mr Governor.”