Supreme Court has ruled that both the old and new naira notes will continue as legal tender in Nigeria, defying previous attempts to phase out the older currency.
The seven-man panel, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, today extended the deadline for the use of both currency notes to December 31, 2023.
This decision follows an application presented by the federal government, represented by Attorney-General Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN). The court emphasized that the purported notice on the monetary policy conveyed through Governor Godwin Emefiele’s press remarks, lacked the necessary “reasonable notice” as defined in section 20(3) of the CBN Act.
The Supreme Court invalidated President Buhari’s directive, issued on February 16, which restricted the legal tender status of the old N200 note until April 10. The court accused the President of disregarding its interim order from February 8, asserting that such actions were detrimental to democratic governance.
Highlighting the government’s disobedience, the apex court ruled that the federal government forfeited its right to an audience before it.
The decision raises questions about the legal authority behind the attempts to phase out the old banknotes and underscores the significance of adherence to judicial directives.
In the aftermath of the last administration, the government, led by President Bola Tinubu, sought an indefinite extension of the December 31 deadline, signaling an ongoing legal battle over the fate of Nigeria’s currency notes.