The Presidency insists that the Federal Government is not flouting the order of the Supreme Court by not according legal tender status to the banks notes of N200, N500 and N1000, beyond February 10, 2023, following their recent redesign.
Recall that the governments of Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi had approached the Supreme Court challenging the February 10, CBN deadline for old naira notes to cease to be legal tender.
Consequently, a seven-man panel of the the Supreme Court ruled on February 8, that all parties should maintain the status quo, which many interpreted to mean that the February10, 2023 deadline was adjourned till the determination of the case which was adjourned to Feb. 15, 2023.
However, financial institutions including banks as well as filing stations, supermarkets and other business owners have continued to reject the old Naira notes despite the Supreme Court ruling.
Some banks were reported to have based their decision of rejecting the old notes on a circulation emanating from the CBN.
Biztellers had reported that Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele stated at a meeting with diplomats in Abuja on Tuesday as saying that the old notes were no longer legal tender from February 10, 2023, maintaining that there was no need to shift the date.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, averred late Tuesday night that, ”We wish to state that it is not true that the Federal Government or the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN have taken a preemptive action on the legality of currency as a legal tender in view of the pendency of the case before the Supreme Court.
”The position of the government and the CBN will be made known upon the determination of the suit coming up tomorrow.”
The Supreme Court consequently adjourned the suit to February 22 and President Buhari promised to address Nigerians on the matter by 7am on Thursday February 14, 2023.