The CBN had in October 2022 announced the redesign of N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, and asked Nigerians to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023 when they would cease to be legal tender. The deadline was shifted to February 10 following difficulties obtaining the new notes.
Thereafter, governors of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states dragged the federal government and the CBN to the Supreme Court over the time limit, and the court gave an interim order suspending the February 10 deadline. The three states were later joined by 13 other states bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 16, just as two other states took the side of the federal government.

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The apex court held that “no reasonable notice was given as required by Section 20(3) of the CBN Act,” adding that the public only became aware of the policy through press remarks, which cannot qualify as a notice to the public.

Part of the Court order contained in the Judgment delivered by His Lordship Emmanuel Akomaye Agim JSC, reads:

  1. A DECLARATION that the directive given by the President pursuant to Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007 limiting the amount that can be withdrawn and the charges therein without an enabling law unconstitutional and not binding on the plaintiffs’.
  2. A DECLARATION that the directive of the President of the Federation exercised is illegal to the extent that it restricts, without an enabling law, the rights of the plaintiffs to freely use their money in various bank accounts.
  3. An order that the old version of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes shall continue to be legal tender alongside with the new or redesigned version until 31-12-2023.
  4. An order that that the reception of old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes and the swapping of same with new naira notes shall continue till 31st December, 2023

Click Below to Download the Full Judgment


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