After a long silence on the status of old currency notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given its nod to the circulation of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes declaring that they remain legal tender.
Telescope.ng reports that while conveying its stance last night in a statement issued by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Dr Isa AbdulMumin, the apex bank said its decision was in compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and
sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterized the government of
President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulator Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria, had been directed to comply with the Supreme Court judgement of March 3, 2023.
Consequently, CBN said it met with the Bankers’ Committee and had directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
The Supreme Court last Friday ordered that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain legal tender and would be in circulation till Dec. 31. The apex court also nullified the federal government’s naira redesign Policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
CBN’s stance came hours after Presidency exonerated President Muhammadu Buhari of the complicity of CBN shunning of the Supreme Court order on the validity of naira notes.
A statement issued by Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said it was wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement.
Garba added that CBN had no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
He said, “Since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed”.
“Following the ongoing intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency, therefore, wishes to state clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice.”