Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, bowed to pressure on Monday and formally ordered commercial banks to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling, which requires the usage of old N, 1000, and N 500 notes as legal money until December 31, 2023.
Also, he declared that until the end of the year, the old N200, N500, and N1,000 would be accepted as legal money.
Emefiele claimed that the choice was made at a meeting with the Bankers Committee on Sunday.
The misunderstanding regarding the legitimacy of the old naira notes has been resolved as a result of the development. The move is also anticipated to lessen the suffering of Nigerians who have experienced great challenges due to a shortage of new naira notes in the wake of the contentious restriction on the use of older notes.
The most recent development was announced in a statement headed “Old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal money – CBN” by the acting director of corporate communications, Isa AbdulMumin.
According to the statement, “Deposit money banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling from March 3, 2023. This is in keeping with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterized the government of President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a regulator.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”
The Federal Government and the CBN were criticized earlier on Monday by the Nigerian Bar Association and the Nigeria Labour Congress for disobeying the Supreme Court’s ruling over the old naira notes.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Arewa Consultative Forum warned that Buhari’s disregard for the Supreme Court will damage the standing of his government.
Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the President both received harsh criticism from the NBA for disobeying the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes were made legal tender until December 31 by the Supreme Court in its decision from March 3.
Despite pressure from Nigerians, the AGF and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele refused to follow the directive. Commercial banks were influenced by their activities to stop accepting the old notes as lawful money.
Concerned by the situation, the state governments engaged in the lawsuit threatened to accuse the two officials of contempt if they didn’t comply with the supreme court’s ruling on Tuesday (today).
The Supreme Court ruled that Buhari violated the constitution when he issued orders for the naira notes in the ruling written by Justice Emmanuel Agim.
The President was criticized by the seven-man panel for saying in a broadcast on February 16 that only the N200 note should continue to be legal cash, which was a flagrant violation of the highest court’s injunction.
Justice Agim said, “The rule of law upon which our democratic governance is founded becomes illusory if the President of the country or any authority or person refuses to obey the orders of courts. The disobedience of orders of courts by the President in a constitutional democracy as ours is a sign of the failure of the constitution and that democratic governance has become a mere pretension and is now replaced by autocracy or dictatorship.”