Supreme Court Reinstates Old Naira Notes, Declares Buhari’s Order Invalid

The Supreme Court has ruled that the old naira notes should remain in circulation as legal tender until December 31, 2023.

The apex court further declared the new naira policy as an affront to the 1999 constitution.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement on Friday, held that the initial objections by the defendants — the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states — were dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to consider the lawsuit.

The court held that the three months timeline was also not in tune with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act and as such unconstitutional.

Besides, the apex court argued that President Muhammadu Buhari confiscated the powers of the CBN when he issued the directive banning the old naira notes.

The apex court held that the federation government should have held adequate consultation to avert massive disruption of operations and cause untold hardship to Nigerians, maintaining that it was not the action of the CBN that is being challenged but the validity of the decision of the president to redesign the naira without consultation with Nigerians through the council of states and the National Economic Council.

The court explained that the CBN does not have to be joined as a party in the suit as the apex bank had no power to carry out the policy without the directive of the president and that the case is not an action against the CBN.

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