Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on old naira notes, Daily Sun investigations revealed that businesses as well as transporters in Lagos metropolis rejected the notes stating that it is awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s stamp on the court ruling.
The Supreme Court had initially ruled that the old Naira notes remain legal tender till 31 December 2023, as it set aside the deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
However, in its new ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court said that all the old notes would remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, thus nullifying the Naira redesign policy.
The court also noted that no reasonable notice was given to the public in line with Section 20 of the CBN Act of 2007.
On this premise, the CBN extended the legality of the notes to December 31, 2023, on the note that most countries allow old and new notes to circulate simultaneously for not less than one year.
It will be recalled that in December 2022, the CBN announced a currency redesign and said the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would stop being legal tender by February 10.
On the back of this,16 Nigerian state governors pushed back against the policy, suing the Federal Government, asking the court to put a hold on the policy.
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the governors, stopping the FG from implementing the February 10 deadline. But there was uncertainty over whether the court had jurisdiction, as there were also questions about whether the CBN, an independent body, should obey the court’s judgment as it was not a party to the suit.
Eventually, the FG implemented the deadline, only conceding that old N200 notes would remain legal tender for another 60 days.
President Buhari admitted in a broadcast that the CBN undertook the currency redesign on his orders.
Although, Friday’s judgment was meant to bring the much-needed clarity with the Supreme Court ruling, however, businesses in areas like Ajah, Orile, Alaba insisted that they had lost a whole lot and would rather wait on the Federal Government or the CBN to release a statement backing up the ruling despite the court’s insistence that the currency redesign policy could not be handed down after a private conversation with the CBN governor.
Emeka Felix, a dealer in electronic gadgets, said, “It is enough that the system is bastardized and now the supreme court has come with this one. I do not think Nigeria knows what it is doing again. We are now the laughing stock of other nations. The government has failed us all. I am still going to stick to having money transferred to my account for transactions.
Also speaking, Eze Calistus, a driver, said he will not be taking old notes from passengers because these old notes have not been in circulation all these time.