Just In: CBN bows to S/Court, declares old naira notes legal tender
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on Monday evening finally heeded calls to direct commercial banks to start dispensing and receiving old naira notes as legal tender across the country in line with recent Supreme Court ruling.
Spokesperson for the CBN Isa Abdulmunin in a statement said the decision was arrived at Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday.
He said the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31, 2023.
“In compliance with established tradition of obedience to court orders the CBN as a regulator and Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31, 2023.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,’’ the CBN stated.
The Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo had earlier on Monday revealed that he was informed by the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, that decision has been taken to comply with the Supreme Court order which declared the old N200, N500 and N1000 as legal tender till 31 December, 2023.
Soludo also confirmed that the decision was taken at Bankers’ Committee meeting on Sunday.
The presidency had also in a statement on Monday evening denied that President Muhammadu Buhari asked the CBN Governor not to obey the Supreme Court order on the validity of the old naira notes.
The Presidency, in the statement by Shehu Garba, the spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari said the CBN Governor has no reason not to obey the Supreme Court.
He also frowned at the misinterpretation of the president’s silence over the Supreme Court judgment of March 3 on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes.
“The Presidency wishes to react to some public concerns that President Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgment.
“It states clearly that at no time did the president instruct the Attorney-General of the Federation and the CBN governor to disobey any court order.
“Since the president was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders in the strong belief that we cannot practise democracy without the rule of law.
“The commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed,’’ he stated.
According to Shehu, the president is not a micromanager and will not, therefore, stop the Attorney-General and the CBN governor from performing the details of their duties in accordance with the law.
“In any case, it is debatable at this time if there is proof of wilful denial by the two of them on the orders of the apex court.
“The directive of the president, following the meeting of the Council of State is that the CBN must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position,’’ he added.
Some state governors had also asked the people in their states to start using the old notes for transaction following the Supreme Court order.
The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC had also in a statement on Monday threatened to ask workers to stay at home if the Federal Government failed to find solution to the problem of acute scarcity of cash within seven days.