A federal capital territory (FCT) high court has compelled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to go ahead with the full implementation of the naira redesign policy.
Delivering a ruling on Monday in a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2234/2023, the court restrained the CBN from extending the deadline on the use of old naira notes.
The CBN, President Muhammadu Buhari, and several banks were included as defendants in the suit.
Eleojo Enenche, the judge of the FCT high court, ordered the CBN not to extend the deadline pending the determination of the suit.
“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the defendants whether by themselves, staff, agents, officers, interfacing banks or whosoever not to suspend, stop, extend, vary or interfere with the extant termination date of use of the old N200, N500, and N1000 bank note being 10th day of February, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice,” the court held.
The judge also made an order of interim injunction “directing and mandating the defendants whether by themselves, staff, agents, officers, interfacing banks or whosoever described to comply with, implement and give effect to the currency redesign and restructuring of the old N200, N500, and N1000 bank note on or before the last day of 10th of February, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice”.
The court further directed the bank heads, chief executive officers, managing directors and/or alter egos “to forthwith show cause as to why they shall not be arrested and prosecuted for the economic and financial sabotage of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by their illegal act of hoarding, withholding, nor paying or disbursing the new N200, N500 and N1000 bank note, being the legal tender of the federal republic of Nigeria to their respective customers, despite supplies of each such currency note by the 2nd and 3rd defendants, thereby leading to the present scarcity of currency notes in circulation.”
The order will be for an initial period of seven days until the motion of notice is heard on February 14.
The plaintiffs are Action Alliance (AA), Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and National Rescue Movement (NRM)