Old, re-designed naira notes to co-exist indefinitely – Supreme Court

New naira notes

The Supreme Court has ruled that the old and re-designed naira notes will remain legal tender till further notice.

A seven-man panel of justices led by Justice John Okoro gave the ruling on Wednesday, noting that the banknotes should remain in circulation, pending when the Federal Government takes a decision on the matter.

The order followed an application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi.

The court, on March 3, nullified the ban on the use of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes as valid legal tenders by the Buhari administration.

The court held that the old naira notes should be used alongside the re-designed currencies until the end of the year.

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In its lead judgement that was prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court slammed the government for unilaterally introducing the demonitisation policy, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) without consulting the Council of States, the Federal Executive Council, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, civil society organisations and other relevant stakeholders.

It held that the government failed to give valid notice to all the federating units before it decided to withdraw the old banknotes from circulation and introduce new ones.

The Supreme Court maintained that evidence before it established that a purported notice on the monetary policy was through “mere press remarks” by the then CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.