The Supreme Court has declared the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy unconstitutional and ordered that old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain in circulation until December 31, 2023.
The court held that the three-month timeline for the policy was not in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act and therefore unconstitutional. The court dismissed the federal government’s objection to the jurisdiction of the apex court to hear the suits by 16 states challenging the currency policy.
The court held that the President’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the redesigning and withdrawal of old notes of N200, N500, and N1000, without consultation with the states, the Federal Executive Council, and the National Council of State was unconstitutional.
The 16 states had sued to void and set aside the policy on the grounds that it inflicted hardship on innocent Nigerians.
The court also observed that the policy had led to people engaging in trade by barter in this modern age. The President’s disobedience of the February 8 order was also deemed a sign of dictatorship.
The court further ordered that the CBN, commercial banks, and the Federal Government must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.