Ten days after, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have failed to honour the judgment of the Supreme Court in the naira redesign suit which extended the validity of old notes to December 31, 2023, THE WITNESS reports.
This is even as the continued naira scarcity has grounded countless small and medium businesses, pushed millions of families to increased poverty and placed many bank customers, workers, commuters stranded in various parts of the country.
Recall, the Supreme Court had on Friday March 3, 2022 ordered that the old N200, N500, N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023. The apex court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
The apex-court delivered judgement in the suit brought against the Federal Government on the naira redesign policy by 16 States. The 16 states of the federation instituted the suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
Despite the pronouncement by the Supreme Court, the Federal Government and CBN had yet to make a pronouncement to approve the use of the old notes as legal tender as of Sunday.
Deposit Money Banks had last week begun to pay their customers the old N1,000 and N500 notes but a lack of official approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria led to mass rejection of the old currencies by businesses and individuals.
Customers have kept besieging banks on a daily basis with the hope of getting new notes.
The rejection of old notes by transport operators, fuel stations, traders, and other businesses has placed many bank customers, workers and commuters stranded in various parts of the country.
Several people found very difficult to go to their workplaces and business places as the scarcity of the new naira notes bites harder amid a mass rejection of the old notes.
Meanwhile, Civil Societies (CSOs) and Senior lawyers have described as contempt of court the reluctance of the federal government to obey the order of the Supreme Court.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed anger with President Buhari for disobeying Supreme Court judgment over the naira redesign and currency notes scarcity.
ACF, in a statement, yesterday, by its Secretary General, Murtala Aliyu, warned that disobeying the court judgment could resort to nation wide breakdown of law and order.