BY Bolanle Olabimtan
The supreme court has invalidated the naira redesign policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The court made the declaration on Friday while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by three states of the federation.
A seven-member panel of the apex court held that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
They supreme court faulted the entire policy of the CBN, saying the timing and implementation were defective.
In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
The redesigned naira notes were unveiled on December 23, 2022.
The deadline for the implementation of the policy was fixed for January 31, 2023, but it was further extended to February 10.
On February 3, a suit was initiated by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara before the supreme court challenging the implementation of the policy.
Five days later, the supreme court restrained the CBN from giving effect to the deadline on the use of old notes following an ex parte application brought by the three states.
Thirteen (13) other states later joined the suit as co-plaintiffs. The states argued that the implementation of the policy has caused untold hardship for Nigerians.
Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), who is the sole respondent, had, however, filed a preliminary objection to the suit.
The AGF argued that the supreme court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and that the suit ought to have been filed before a federal high court.
Malami also said the plaintiffs failed to join the CBN in the suit.