Supreme Court Invalidates Buhari’s New Naira Polic, Orders Old Notes To Remain Legal Tender Till Dec 31

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has declared illegal the new naira design policy of the Federal Government on the grounds that it was not done with due consultation and in line with constitutional provisions.

In a decision on Friday, the apex court ordered that the old naira notes shall continue to be used side by side with the new naira notes till December 31, 2023.

According to the court, the three months timeline was also not in tune with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act and as such unconstitutional.

It further held that President Muhammadu Buhari usurped the powers of the CBN when he issued the directive banning the old naira notes of N1,000, N500 and N200 notes from February 10, 2023.

On the defendant’s argument that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter, the Justice Agim said the act of the president and government of Nigeria is an act of the federation and that the dispute is between the states and the government of the Federation and within the original jurisdiction of the court

It held that the government of the federation should have held adequate consultation to avoid massive disruption of government operations and trades.

The apex court also disregarded the argument that the CBN was the proper party to be sued, saying 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, release the new notes into circulation and withdraw the old notes without consultation with Nigerians through the council of states and the National Economic Council.

Therefore the court ruled that the CBN does not have to be joined as a party in the suit, because the CBN has no power to carry out the policy without the directive of the president.

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