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Supreme Court says old, new naira notes remain legal tender

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New naira notes unveiled

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes should continue to coexist with the new naira notes until further notice.

The Supreme Court ruled that both old and new naira notes should continue to remain legal tender until the Federal Government puts a process in place for their replacement or redesign after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Following an application by the Federal Government seeking an extension of time for old naira notes to remain in circulation as legal tender, the ruling was given by the seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro.

The Federal Government also prayed the court to lift its March 3 order, noting that the extension of time is necessary as it has not been able to print the volume of new notes that would enable a phase-out of the old currency before the December 31 order.

In the fresh application by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, the Federal Government further explained that should the Supreme Court decline its request to extend the period of circulation of old notes, the country stands at risk of descending into another national, economic, and financial crisis, as witnessed in the first quarter of the year when the naira redesign policy was being implemented under the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

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It asked the court to allow the old notes to be in use with the new notes until after it consults with stakeholders, pointing out that the economy may be in jeopardy once again because some Nigerians have started hoarding the old and new naira notes ahead of the December 31st timeline.

In a unanimous decision, the seven-man panel allowed Fagbemi’s application.

In mid-November, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would remain legal tender indefinitely.

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