Supreme Court halts implementation of February 10 deadline for naira swap


The Supreme Court has temporarily stopped moves by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban the use of the old naira notes by February 10, 2023.
A seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro halted the plan in a ruling in an exparte application brought by three northern states of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara.
The CBN had announced February 10 as the dateline for swapping of old naira notes with new notes.
The Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) had approached the Supreme Court over the February 10 deadline.
An Abuja Federal High Court had earlier restrained President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele from suspending, stopping, extending or interfering with the currency swap deadline date.
The three governors that dragged the CBN and the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, sought to stop the full implementation of the naira redesign policy initiated by the apex bank.
In an application on Wednesday, counsel to the applicants, Mr A. I. Mustapha, SAN, urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice and Nigerians.
He argued that the policy had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land”.
After careful consideration of the motion exparte in the application, Justice Okoro granted the prayer.
Ruling on the motion, Okoro held that “An order of Interim Injunction restraining the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on February 10, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction”.
He adjourned to February 15, 2023, for a hearing of the main suit.


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