Why Supreme Court suspended old naira notes deadline – Ezekhome

Mike Ozekhome, A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has disclosed the reasons behind the judgement of the Supreme Court on the February 10 deadline for the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.

It can be recalled that on Wednesday, The Apex Court restrained the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from implementing the deadline that will mark the end of the banknotes as legal tender in Nigeria.

The Court gave the judgment after the government of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states dragged the Federal Government to Supreme Court over the scarcity of old and new naira notes due to the CBN’s naira redesign policy.

Speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday night, Ozekhome stated that the Supreme Court has not decided on the matter, adding that the court only paused the implementation of the deadline.

According to the lawyer, the court gave the judgement to prevent the subject matter of the suit from being truncated.

He said, “The Supreme Court has not decided the matter. All it has done is to fall back to a decision like Kotoye vs CBN, that in matters of extreme urgency, you can grant an interim order, even if it be an ex-parte, to prevent the subject matter of the suit from being truncated.

“If, for example, the Supreme Court, did not make that order, and the only order existing is that of the High Court, it means that the CBN, by 10th of this month, will stop the use of all old notes.

“But what the Supreme Court has said is, ‘Just wait, let us listen to you people,’ not that it has decided that Zamfara, Kogi and Kaduna states have any valid case that is actionable because the action is already being challenged with a preliminary objection.

“It is another way of saying, ‘Let us first drive away the fox before we blame the fowl for wandering too far into the forest”.

Meanwhile, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), has approached the Supreme Court to seek the dismissal of the suit filed by three northern state governments.

In a preliminary objection filed by lawyers to the AGF, Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali, the Federal Government premised its argument on the claim that the apex court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit brought against it by the state governments.



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