Naira swap: Supreme Court adjourns suit to Feb. 22

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The Supreme Court, Wednesday, adjourned the suit filed by some state governors challenging the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The apex court adjourned the case till Wednesday, February 22, 2023, for a hearing of the consolidated suits by 10 states.

Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara States had approached the Supreme Court, asking the court to restrain the CBN from forging ahead with its February 10, 2023 deadline for the naira swap.

The apex bank had succumbed to pressure from Nigerians and other interests and shifted its original deadline of January 31, 2023 to February 10.

On Wednesday, February 8, the Supreme Court issued an interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from suspending the acceptance of the old Naira notes on the Friday, February 10, 2023 deadline.

Consequent upon the injunction and subsisting confusion, banks, commercial banks, POS operators and related service providers, started rejecting the old Naira notes.

On Tuesday, the CBN doubled down on the policy, declaring that the old naira notes of ₦‎200, ₦‎500, ₦‎1000 notes were no longer legal tender in the country with effect from Friday, February 10, 2023. This is despite the Supreme Court order and assurances by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, who assured the nation that the Federal Government and CBN will obey the court order.

A report by The Guardian, Nigeria, reported that the CBN Branch Controller in Bauchi, Haladu Idris Andaza, spoke to journalists on the matter, disclosing:

“In the last 24 hours, we have been inundated by questions from various angles of the general public about our operational guidelines on the old currency notes, be that as it may, there are so many questions here and there which people have been asking about.

“So for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that CBN is ready and is opened to receive all of those old notes based on certain conditions and criteria. Customers are free to come to the Bank and deposit which they cannot do at the Commercial Banks anymore because the currency has seized to be a legal tender since the 10th of this month.

“Consequently, the management of the CBN decided that those customers will have a sigh of relief by coming to the offices of the CBN in all the 36 states in the Federation including FCT to deposit their money.”

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