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Presidency says it never told CBN to defy Supreme Court

The office of the Presidency revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari did not tell the CBN Governor to defy the Supreme Court order following the naira redesign.

This was disclosed in a statement by the media aide to the Presidency, Garba Shehu on Monday evening.

The Central Bank of Nigeria broke the silence on the controversy surrounding the naira redesign policy as it said that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.

Obeyed Court: The statement read that not once did the President give the order to disobey the supreme court, he said:

  • “The Presidency wishes to react to some public concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes,
  • “States here plainly and clearly that at no time did he instruct the Attorney General and the CBN Governor to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.
  • “Since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.

No deliberate harm: He added that following intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency, therefore, wishes to state clearly that:

  • “ President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice. 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 willful 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 Bank must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position.

They added Buhari has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause a lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere with or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now when he is getting ready to leave office.

They added CBN is determined to put the cashless system in place, as it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President.

What you should know

The Central Bank of Nigeria said that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.

This is coming nearly over a week after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to accept the old naira notes as legal tender until December 31, 2023.

What the CBN is saying

The statement from CBN reads,

  • In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.
  • “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 December 31, 2023.
  • “Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly.”


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