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Nigeria’s Supreme Court Says Old Naira Notes Remain Legal Tender Till December

The CBN redesign policy has precipitated a cash crunch in Nigeria.

The Nigerian supreme court has invalidated the naira redesign policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ordered that all the old denominations of the naira notes shall remain legal tender up to December 31.

The court made the declaration on Friday while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation. 

In the judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, a seven member panel said that the Nigerian government had acted in breach of the constitution by going ahead with the policy without consultations with the State government and other stakeholders, and held that the old N200, N500 and N1000 remain valid legal tender until 31 December 2023.

Justice Agim maintained that Buhari’s unconstitutional use of power in the naira redesign and cashless policy breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in several ways, and this is not permissible under democracy and in a plural society like the nation of Nigeria.

The apex court held that the President’s unlawful use of power caused more economic harm than good to the Nigerian citizens as there was a nationwide cash scarcity due to this redesign and swap policy, and many people were denied cash ownership and access to their monies, which led a lot of Nigerians to be cash-poor.

On this note, Legal Analyst, Chinwe Izegbu said”Our descendants will be referring today… as a day that the supreme court, our apex court, made a fantastic decision on behalf of all Nigerians, showing that the constitution is supreme.” 

She then stated that  Section 1, subsection 1 of the constitution states that the Nigerian Constitution is supreme and that other provisions of the law that are inconsistent with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution will be void and nullified.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi