Old Naira Notes Saga: Central Bank of Nigeria set to comply with Supreme Court judgement, as Emefiele meets commercial banks executives

The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) may have concluded plan to abide with the Supreme Court judgement ordering it to regard the old naira notes as legal tender till December 31, 2023, following a meeting held between the apex bank and leadership of the commercial banks.

Penpushing investigation revealed that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele as a way to find lasting solution to the naira notes palava, which has crippled many businesses across the country met with the Managing Directors of the commercial banks on Sunday.

The finding further showed that the virtual meeting took place at about 4.00pm, to address the old naira notes menace, which focus was to direct the commercial banks on need to start accepting and dispensing the naira notes in line with the Supreme Court judgement.

Penpushing also reports that following the development, the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may in the next few days address a press conference to clear the air on the controversy, and to avoid contempt of court.

The ugly situation has continued to give sleepless night to Nigerians, having being subjected to mental torture by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on the naira swap, a development which has led them to cash crunch positions.

Penpushing further reports that it is recalled that a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro has extended the validity of the N200, N500, and N1, 000 notes for next ten months which is to last till 31 December, 2023, and unanimously directed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must continue to receive the old notes from Nigerians

The court held that the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari for the redesign of the new notes and withdrawal of the old notes without due consultation is invalid, while a member of the panel, Justice Emmanuel Agim who read the lead judgement, equally condemned the President’s disobedience of the court’s 8 February order that the old N200, N500, and N1, 000 notes should continue to circulate alongside the new ones.

The panel pointed out that  the president’s broadcast of 16 February that only N200 notes should remain legal tender made Nigeria’s democracy look like a mere pretension while democracy is replaced with autocracy.

Penpushing reports that President Muhammadu Buhari and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Emeifele over a week after the Supreme Court order have remained silence, an action considered as non-challance which may attract court action against them

The situation got worsen when number of traders including petrol stations and other business outlets refused to accept the old naira notes, on the excuse that the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and the President are yet to make any pronouncement even after the court order.

Penpushing further reports that following a protest to Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun by residents of the state, in view of their plights on the naira swap, findings showed that he had to make a telephone call to the Central Bank Governor on the urgent need to address the issue before it gets out of hands.

The Governor who was empathetic with the residents, however, read a riot act to commercial banks operating in the state and all other establishments in the habits of rejecting the old notes to desist or face full weight of the law.

Penpushing also reports that the Governor  while issuing  the warning on Sunday emphasized that there was no reason for rejection of the old naira notes, following the Supreme Court judgement extending the legality of the old naira notes till December 31, 2023

The Governor added that the warning does not exempt every merchants, traders and bankers, stressing that any of the establishments found doing contrary to the order may have their outlets sealed, and deal with the fullest extent of the law

‘I am hereby sounding a note of warning to every Merchant, Trader, Banker, Petrol Station that is refusing old naira notes.  If you’re reported to me, I will deal with you to the fullest extent of the law. The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest Court of the land and it has ruled that the old naira notes remains a legal tender up until December 31st, 2023’, he declared.

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