Nigeria’s Supreme Court has restrained President Muhammadu Buhari from withdrawing the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes from circulation.
The apex court also faulted the government’s decision to go ahead with the redesign of the banknotes without consulting the federating units – that is the 36 states of the federation.
The court, therefore, invalidated the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The court rules that the use of the old naira notes would remain valid till December 31, 2023.
The seven-member panel of judges who sat on the matter comprises John Okoro, Amina Augie, Mohammed Garba, Adamu Jauro, Tijjani Abubakar, Emmanuel Agim and Ibrahim Saulawa.
The court made the declaration on Friday (Mar. 3rd) while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation.
More states later joined the suit to bring their number to over 15.
Nigerians has been struggling with a shortage in cash since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began to swap old bills of the local naira currency for new, re-designed ones, leading to a shortfall in banknotes.
The scarcity of cash triggered violent protests in major cities as angry and frustrated bank customers attacked and vandalised banks and blocked roads.
Many people working in Nigeria's informal economy and in transport use cash for transactions rather than banking apps.