CBN Under Fire As Nigerians Fume Over ‘Illegality’ Of Old Notes

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HomeNewsCBN Under Fire As Nigerians Fume Over 'Illegality' Of Old Notes
 

CBN Under Fire As Nigerians Fume Over ‘Illegality’ Of Old Notes

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CBN Under Fire As Nigerians Fume Over ‘Illegality’ Of Old Notes

 

. Apex Bank Not Above Law, Says Falana

. Nigerians Anxiously Waiting For Court Verdict Wednesday

. Ogun Joins Suit Against CBN Deadline

. Kano Threatens To Sanction Banks, Others

 

By Fredrick Wright

THECentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently under intense pressure as Nigerians continued to challenge it’s procedures of phasing out the old Naira notes, which is currently imposing untold hardship on the citizenry.

 

CBN had earlier today (Tuesday) declared that the old N200, N500 and N1000 have ceased being legal tender since February 10, 2023. 

 

The apex bank had originally fixed January 31 as deadline for old notes to be in circulation but extended it in response to pressure from Nigerians.

 

However, before the February 10 deadline, Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara States approached the Supreme Court, seeking that the CBN be restrained going ahead with the deadline.

 

The Court answered their prayer and adjourned the case till February 15.

 

But the apex bank has violated the court verdict by declaring today that the old notes had cease to be legal tender from February 10.

 

CBN Branch Controller in Bauchi, Haladu Idris Andaza, while speaking to journalists said: “In the last 24 hours, we have been inundated by questions from various angles of the general public about our operational guidelines on the old currency notes, be that as it may, there are so many questions here and there which people have been asking about,” Andaza said.

 

“So for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that CBN is ready and is opened to receive all of those old notes based on certain conditions and criteria. Customers are free to come to the Bank and deposit which they cannot do at the Commercial Banks anymore because the currency has seized to be a legal tender since the 10th of this month,” he said.

 

Stakeholders who spoke with SlyeNews said they will will waiting to hear the court verdict on the matter tomorrow (Wednesday).

 

Meanwhile, The Ogun State Government has filed an application at the Supreme Court of Nigeria seeking to join Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States, in the suit.

 

Already, at least seven All Progressives Congress (APC) states including Kano, Ondo, and Ekiti have sued the Federal Government while Rivers State Government said it will join the suit against the Federal Government and the apex bank.

 

Ogun State, in a Motion of Notice filed by its counsel, Afe Babalola and Co, on February 13, sought to be joined as 4th plaintiff/applicant, in a suit number SC/CV/162/2023.

 

The applicant in the Notice further stated that it sought to be a co-plaintiff for the just and effective determination in the suit instituted by the other three plaintiffs.

 

The plaintiff also notified the Supreme      Court that it shall rely on all the processes already filed in this action in addition to the affidavit in support of the application.

 

However, protest broke out on Tuesday morning in Sango-Ota axis of Ogun State as angry bank customers block the Express with bonfire while security agents watch helplessly.

 

An agrieved customer that the problem was triggered by GTBank who simply refused to attend to the customers in the two branches in the area.

 

It took the intervention of the men of Nigeria Police and the military to calm the situation.

 

Human Rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has lambasted the Central Bank of Nigeria for allegedly flouting the interim injunction of the Supreme Court suspending the implementation of the February 10 deadline on the use of the old banknotes.

 

Falana, during a live appearance on Channels TV’s The 2023 Verdict on Tuesday, said the government was not ready to comply with the order, a report by Channels TV says.

 

“In a country where the rule of law operates, once the Supreme Court has determined a matter or given an order, it is expected that all and sundry – everybody – will comply with the order,” Falana said.

 

He added that a statement credited to the CBN that it would not comply with the order of the apex court because it was not a party to the case could only be tenable in a “banana republic”.

 

“A statement was credited to the central bank that since it was not a party to the case, it’s not going to comply with the order. I thought that could only happen in a banana republic.

 

“I expected the central bank to have issued a statement following the order of the Supreme Court: ‘all actions are stale until the 15th of February’,” he said.

 

The SAN added that an example should be made of those flouting court orders, stressing that nobody should feel that they were above the law.

 

“For me, an example has to be made this time around, so that nobody will feel that he’s above the law in our country,” he added.

 

Nigerians have been groaning under the pain caused by the deadline as they are unable to get the new notes, while the old notes are being sold to them by Point of Sales vendors.

 

The Kano State government on Tuesday warned that it would not hesitate to revoke the operational licences of major business owners or take action on anyone who refuses to accept the old Naira notes as a means of transaction.

 

The state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who handed down the warning in a statement issued by the Kano State Commissioner for Information and Internal Afffairs, Mallam Muhammad Garba, said the old naira notes still remained a legal tender.

 

According to him, the Supreme Court was emphatic on its interim injunction on the issue of old naira notes which would continue to be used as legal tender hand-in-hand with the new ones untill gradual and final phase out.

 

Ganduje said, “It has come to the notice of the government that some business owners such as supermarkets, malls, banks, restaurants, hotels, traders in markets, filling stations, motor parks, among others, are in the habit of rejecting the old naira notes in business transaction.

 

“This non-acceptance by some selfish individuals is further worsening the already tensed situation exacerbated by the non-availability of the new naira notes

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