The Supreme Court of Nigeria has restrained the Federal Government from continuing with the full implementation of the demonetisation policy.
Three northern states, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, had, in a motion ex-parte filed on February 3rd, prayed the apex court to halt the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira redesign policy.
A 7-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted an interim injunction restraining the FG, CBN, commercial banks etc, from implementing the February 10 deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes to stop being a legal tender.
The court further held that the FG, CBN, and commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice on notice in respect of the issue on February 15.
By the ruling, the old Naira notes continue to be legal tenders in Nigeria.
After the ruling, the lawyer to the three state government, Mustapha said Zamfara, Kogi and Kaduna dragged the Federal Government and the apex bank to the highest court because the policy is causing hardship on Nigerians, especially those in the rural areas.
“We invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court when there is a dispute between the state government and the Federal Government. It is one of the few occasions where the Supreme Court act as the original jurisdiction. So, we invoked the powers of the Supreme Court to hear this application,” the senior advocate said.
“The reason for it is that as well-intentioned as this policy of the Federal Government on this naira redesign, it is causing hardship all over the country. As we can all see, banks are being harassed, Nigerians are suffering, especially the downtrodden, even in the urban areas they are having difficulty, but it is more excruciating in the rural areas.
“So, the three state governments – Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi deemed it fit for us to invoke the powers of the Supreme Court to intervene.”