According to local reports, Nigerian financial institutions have begun complying with the Supreme Court ruling invalidating the abolition of the 1,000, 500 and 100 naira bills by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to the Court, Nigerian residents will continue to use the abolished banknotes until the end of the year.
Court Criticizes Outgoing Nigerian President
Nigerian financial institutions have reportedly begun handling the recently demonetized 1,000, 500, and 100 naira bills just days after the Supreme Court ruled against the CBN’s so-called naira redesign policy. Bloomberg reportsthatHowever, some of the country’s leading financial institutions, such as Guaranty Trust Holding Co. and Sterling Bank Plc, had already disbursed the old bills on March 6. Plc and Sterling Bank Plc were already disbursing the old notes on March 6.
The Nigerian Supreme Court, in its ruling on March 3, 2023, condemned the central bank’s hasty currency devaluation process. The Court also condemnedoutgoing President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to comply with a temporary order prohibiting his government from proceeding with the demonization process, thus underminingthe country’s democratic credibility.
Although the CBN has not issued a formal statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Sterling Bank CEO Abubakar Suleiman was quoted in a Bloomberg report as explaining why the bank chose to comply with the ruling.
“The central bank is abiding by the Supreme Court’s ruling, as are the banks. I don’t think a directive to follow the court is necessary,” a senior official reportedly said.
The demonetized bank notes will remain legal tender until the end of the year
By redistributing the old bills, Nigerian banks can not only comply with the court ruling, but also appease disgruntled bank customers who were unable to withdraw cash in the days leading up to the February 10 demonization deadline. As Bitcoin.com News previously reported, the CBN extended the deadline and the bank’s inability to release the new banknote design contributed to the violent street protests.
President Buhari of the All People’s Congress (APC), in a televised speechdespite pleas from members of his party, insisted that the government still supported the CBN’s naira redesign policy and would not extend the demonization deadline. However, in its ruling, the Nigerian Supreme Court declared that all old naira bills would remain legal tender until the end of the year.
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