Supreme Court Adjourns Suit Seeking To Halt Ban on Old Naira Notes
The Supreme Court has adjourned a suit seeking to halt the ban on old naira notes, to February 15, 2023, for a hearing. This comes after it suspended the move by the federal government to ban the use of old naira notes from February 10, 2023.
According to reports, Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi States had earlier requested an order of Interim Injunction from the Supreme court to restrain the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from determining February 10 as the deadline for the circulation and use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes; pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The Supreme court rules in favour of the governors
At a court sitting on Wednesday (today), a seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro suspended the move of the federal government after careful consideration of the ex parte application brought by the three northern states.
Justice Okoro who granted the application as prayed said, “An order of Interim Injunction restraining the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on February 10, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction”
What influenced the ruling
The apex court delivered the ruling after the counsel to the applicants, A. I. Mustapha, SAN, moved the application on the following terms. First, Mustapha urged the apex court to grant the application in the interest of justice and the well-being of Nigeria.
Second, he hinted that the government policy had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land.” Third, he lamented that 40% of Nigerians with bank accounts can’t access their monies from the bank as a result of the policy.
Finally, Mustapha argued that if the apex court does not intervene, the policy would birth nationwide anarchy as most banks are closing operations already.
The suit is, however, seeking a restraining order by the Supreme Court to coerce the CBN and the federal government from implementing the policy.
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