By Marvellous Nyang
Nigeria’s Supreme Court has validated the old naira notes as legal tender to December 31, 2023.
The apex court in its ruling on Friday, March 3, 2023, thereby ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes should remain in circulation.
The Supreme Court in its judgement also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
Reading the judgement, Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states) are dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
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The judge cited Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, as the court held that the dispute between the Federal Government and states must involve law or facts.
In its ruling, the apex court further held that even, President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast admitted that the policy is flawed with a lot of challenges.
Recalled 16 states of the federation had instituted a case against the Federal Government on the naira redesign policy, legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
The states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, who initially approached the court before others joined had prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it inflicted hardships on innocent Nigerians
They also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of usurping the function of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the introduction and implementation of the policy.
Consequently, they asked that the directive issued by Buhari be voided.
Accepting their plea, Justice John Inyang Okoro, who led a seven-man panel of Justices of the Court, on February 22 fixed March 3 as the final date for the court to make its decision known on the suit after an initial adjournment.
In court on Friday were Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello, who were physically present to witness the judgement.