The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally complied with the judgement of Supreme court, which validated and made the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes legal tender till December 31st, 2023.
It also directed Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023 forthwith.
CBN’s spokesperson, Isa Abdulmumin who disclosed this in a statement Monday, hours before the commencement of contempt of court proceedings against the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami over alleged disobedience to the court orders.
The CBN statement partly read, “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023,” the statement reads.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly”, the statement said.
Recall that the Supreme court in a unanimous judgement by a seven-member panel of Justices led by Justice Emmanuel Agim on Friday March 3rd 2023, nullified the ban on the use of old naira notes by the federal government and ordered that the old notes remain a valid legal tender along with the redesigned new naira notes till December 2023.
But, the alleged refusal by the CBN to direct deposit money banks to accept the notes, prompted Governors who are defendants in the suit to threaten file contempt of court charge against the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly refusing to comply with the orders of the apex court.
In February 2023, angry Nigerians had protested in most parts of the nation over the naira redesigned policy by the CBN and fuel price hike, leading to invasion or some deposit money banks and killing of civilians by security personnel.
Not soon after the unrest had abated, President Buhari stepped into the crisis, claiming that the CBN was met to check inflation and vote-buying in elections.