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Hours after Buhari breaks silence on old naira notes, CBN Gov. says they remain legal tender till Dec. 31

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally complied with the Supreme Court’s judgment on the old Naira notes, directing commercial banks to start dispensing and receiving the old notes as legal tender across the country.

Persecondnews reports that the apex bank made the pronouncement hours after President Muhammadu Buhari spoke that he wondered why the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had not complied with the Supreme Court’s judgment.

On Monday, Buhari had broken his silence eleven days after the highest court in the land gave a judgment on the old Naira notes, saying he never at anytime told the Attorney-General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, not to comply with the judgment.

He said by the judgment, the Supreme Court had validated the old N1,000 and N500 notes as legal tenders till December 31, 2023.

In a statement in Abuja, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said President Buhari did not react to the judgment of the Supreme Court on old N1,000 and N500 notes and did not instruct Malami and Emefiele to disobey the court order in the matter between the Federal Government and some states.

“The Presidency wishes to react to some public concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes, and states here plainly and clearly that at no time did he instruct the Attorney General and the CBN Governor to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.

“Since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.”

Announcing the full compliance of CBN with the order, the spokesman, Mr Isa Abdulmunin, said in a statement that the decision was arrived at Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday.

He said the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31, 2023.

“In compliance with established tradition of obedience to court orders the CBN as a regulator and Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3.

“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till Dec. 31, 2023.

“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,’’ the CBN said.

Anambra Gov. and ex-CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had earlier on Monday said he was “informed by the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele in a telephone conversation that a decision had been taken to comply with the Supreme Court order.

Soludo also confirmed that the decision was taken at Bankers’ Committee meeting on Sunday.

Persecondnews reports that cash squeeze has grounded socio-economic and political activities across the country following non-disbursement or scarcity of the newly redesigned banknotes since January.

In Ogun, Edo and Delta States, no fewer than 10 commercial banks were vandalized or razed by irate customers over Naira scarcity.

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