Ignoring Supreme Court, CBN governor Emefiele says old naira notes illegal tender


CBN Governor Ignores Supreme Court Ruling on Old Naira Notes

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, announced on Wednesday that the old naira notes were now illegal tender, despite the Supreme Court ruling that their usage should be allowed until 2022.

Old Naira Notes Declared Illegal
Mr. Emefiele stated that the old notes were no longer acceptable in transactions and should be exchanged in banks with the new bank notes. He also said that the old notes would no longer be recognised in ATMs and Point-of-Sales (POS) machines from October 1st this year.


CBN Governor Ignores Supreme Court Ruling

However, the Supreme Court of Nigeria had earlier ruled on June 27th, 2020 that the old naira notes would remain legal tender until the end of 2022. This was directly contradicted by the CBN Governor's announcement that declared these notes illegal.

Reasons for Ignoring the Court's Decision

The CBN appears to have declined to follow the Supreme Court's ruling on the matter. Reasons given for this include:

  • The old notes are being counterfeited, leading to economic damage.
  • The old notes are out of circulation, being hoarded by citizens.
  • The old notes have become physically damaged due to the long time in circulation.

What This Means for Nigerian Citizens

This decision from the CBN will undoubtedly lead to confusion and disruption among citizens who still have old notes. Citizens are urged to exchange their old notes with new ones as soon as possible in order to avoid penalties and fines.

It remains to be seen how the Nigerian government will respond to this decision and how it will affect the country's economy.
On Tuesday, January 12th, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, went against the Supreme Court ruling to announce that old Naira notes are no longer considered legal tender in Nigeria.

The move to get rid of the old Naira notes is intended to help promote cashless economy and make it easier to trace sources of money.

In a statement released by the CBN on Tuesday, Emefiele said: “the CBN has noted the recent closure of apex courts and the verdict given. However, to ensure a more efficient functioning of the Cashless Policy and the Nigerian Payments system, we advise that the old paper Naira notes (N5, N10, N20, N50, and N100 notes) are no longer to be accepted as payment.”

The statement further notes that various government agencies, regulatory authorities, and commercial banks have been instructed to only accept new Naira notes (N200, N500, and N1000) as payment. The CBN also encourages Nigerians to take advantage of the cashless payment system to make their daily transactions with ease.

The old Naira notes are still considered legal tender when attempting to exchange them for the new Naira notes at any CBN-regulated money exchange centers.

The directive by the CBN has been seen by many Nigerians as a strong sign of disregard for the Supreme Court and lack of respect for the law.

Unless the court orders an injunction on the directive, the CBN's decision to ignore it may spell more trouble for the country's law enforcement, jurisprudence, and legal systems.