Supreme Court Decides Old and New Naira Notes to Coexist Until Further Notice

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The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, mandated the continued coexistence of old N200, N500, and N1000 notes with the new ones until further notice. 

The court, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, stated that both old and new notes would remain legal tender until the Federal Government implements a replacement or redesign process after consulting relevant stakeholders.

The decision followed a Federal Government application seeking an extension for the old naira notes, citing the inability to print sufficient new notes for a phased transition before the December 31 deadline. 

The court acknowledged the necessity of extending the timeframe and lifted its March 3 order accordingly.

In the recent application by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, the Federal Government elaborated that a refusal by the Supreme Court to grant an extension for the circulation of old notes might lead to another national, economic, and financial crisis.

This concern arose from the experience in the first quarter of the year during the implementation of the naira redesign policy under the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele. 

The government urged the court to permit the continued use of old notes alongside new ones until consultations with stakeholders could be conducted to avoid potential economic risks.

The seven-man panel unanimously approved Fagbemi’s application. 

In mid-November, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had announced that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes would continue to be recognized as legal tender indefinitely.

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