The court restrained the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline on the use of old naira notes.
However, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, February 8, gave a contrary judgement.
The apex court suspended the February 10 deadline for the swap of old naira notes with new ones given by the CBN. Recall that the apex bank had moved the deadline earlier set for the expiration of the legal tender status of the old notes from January 31 to February 10 after the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Despite the extension of the deadline, the situation has remained unchanged as Nigerians are unable to get the new notes while the old notes are being sold to them by Point of Sales (PoS) vendors.
Will the Supreme Court judgement finally address the naira notes crisis? Here are three major facts about the apex court’s ruling:
1. Three APC governors filed the suit
The suit which the Supreme Court ruled on was filed by three All Progressives Congress (APC) governors from the north; Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) The three governors dragged the CBN and the federal government to the Supreme Court, seeking a halt to the full implementation of the naira redesign policy initiated by the apex bank.
2. Supreme Court temporarily halted the deadline
It’s important to note that the Supreme Court has not suspended the naira redesign policy. Rather, the apex court in its ruling on Wednesday temporarily halted the move by the CBN to ban the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023. The court gave the ruling pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by the APC governors.
3. Supreme Court to hear matter on February 15
In the meantime, the February 10 deadline has been suspended by the Supreme Court. However, the court will hear the main suit filed by the APC governors on Wednesday, February 15. Commenting on the development, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, explained that the apex court’s judgement allows the old and new naira to be in the same position.
“[The Supreme Court says] ‘Allow it (spending of old notes) to continue. Come back on the 15th of February and let us hear you people,’”