The legal skirmishes between the federal government and the three northern States controlled by the All Progressives Congress, APC—Zamfara, Kaduna, and Kogi—over the controversies surrounding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Naira redesign policy will pick back up today, Wednesday, at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold the interlocutory injunction it had previously issued against the CBN after hearing the merits of the main application filed by the petitioner (Zamfara, Kaduna, and Kogi).
Remember that the Supreme Court last week obtained an interim judgment preventing the apex bank from discontinuing the use of old naira notes on February 10. As a result, the CBN’s policy to redesign the naira took on a new dimension.
The ruling of interim injunction was issued by a seven-member court panel, chaired by Justice John Okoro, despite a severe shortage of the newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.
Based on an ex parte plea submitted by three northern States held by the ruling APC, the court temporarily granted the order, rescinding the CBN’s deadline of February 10 to stop the validity of the old versions of the banknotes.
According to reports, Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara State governments sued the federal government in the Supreme Court over the difficulty brought on by the lack of the newly designed naira notes.
The States requested an order from the Supreme Court to prevent the CBN from discontinuing the use of the outdated currency in their petitions.
They emphasized the misery that many Nigerians have experienced as a result of the new currencies’ unavailability.
Despite the government’s promises to make the money available, they said that “many citizens have to date not seen the freshly redesigned naira notes, let alone swapped their old notes for the new ones.”
Justice Okoro accepted the motion as requested after hearing from the applicants’ attorney, a decision he claimed his panel made after “careful thought.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or commercial banks are prohibited from suspending, determining, or ending on February 10 the period during which the now-outdated 200, 500, and 1,000 naira denominations of the naira may no longer be used, according to an interim injunction he also issued.