In a unanimous ruling on Wednesday, a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, granted the Federal Government’s prayers to cancel the deadline for the withdrawals of old naira notes.
The Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, praying for a review of the apex court verdict of March 3 that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 should be legal tender till December 31.
Justice Okoro held: “The old versions of 200, 500, and 1,000 Naira notes/currency shall continue to be legal tenders alongside the new or designed versions until the government decides to bring the circulation of the old versions to an end after its consultation with critical stakeholders and after putting all required structures in place.”
Other Justices on the panel agreed with the verdict.
They are Justices Uwani Aba-Aji, Helen Ogunwumiju, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Tijani Abubakar, and Emmanuel Agim.
The Wednesday’s order was the second time the Supreme Court extended the lifespan of the old naira notes.
Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Wednesday, directed all banks to continue to issue and accept both the old and the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes until further notice.
It noted that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 would no longer be withdrawn from circulation from December 31.
The apex bank announced this in a statement by Ali Sidi Hakama, the acting Director, Corporate Communications.
The directive was in response to Wednesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which lifted the December 31 deadline for the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.