In a landmark decision on Friday, the Supreme Court ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes are allowed to remain in circulation until December 31, 2023. The court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, citing its violation of the 1999 Constitution.
The suit, which was brought against the Federal Government to challenge the policy, was instituted by sixteen states of the Federation, including Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara. The states accused President Muhammadu Buhari of overstepping the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) jurisdiction in introducing and implementing the policy, which they claim is causing undue hardship to innocent Nigerians. They sought to have the policy voided and set aside.
However, the Federal Government disputed the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, arguing that the CBN was not a party to the suit and that any dispute over the policy should be directed at the CBN and referred to the Federal High Court.
Despite this, the Supreme Court proceeded with the case and delivered its verdict on Friday, with Justice John Inyang Okoro leading a seven-man panel of Justices of the Court. Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara were all present in court for the judgement.
The ruling represents a significant victory for the sixteen states that brought the suit, who will no doubt be relieved by the court’s decision to allow the old notes to remain in circulation and its nullification of the naira redesign policy.