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SUPREME COURT NULLIFIES NAIRA REDESIGN POLICY, SAYS OLD NOTES VALID TILL DEC 31

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The Supreme Court has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to allow old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.

The apex court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.

The apex court ruled that the president did not follow the provisions of the constitution before implementing the policy, by consulting the National Security Council and National Economic Council before implementing

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, on Friday, March 1, 2023, 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.

Citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, the court held that the dispute between the federation and states, must involve law or facts.

The apex court further held that President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast, admitted that the policy is flawed with a lot of challenges.

The court said the policy has led to some people engaging in trade by barter in this modern age, in a bid to survive. The court added that the President’s disobedience of the February 8 order, is a sign of dictatorship.

Sixteen states of the Federation instituted the suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.

The suit initially instituted by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states has been slated as the first case on the cause list for final verdict.

Justice John Inyang Okoro who led a seven-man panel of Justices of the Court had on February 22 fixed today for the court to make its decision known on the suit.

The 16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara are praying the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.

They accused President Muhammadu Buhari of usurping the function of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the introduction and implementation of the policy and asked that the directive issued by Buhari be voided.

On its part, the Federal Government challenged the jurisdiction of the Apex Court on the grounds that the CBN was not joined as a party and that the dispute on the policy ought to be directed at the CBN so that the suit can be referred to the Federal High Court.

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