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Cash crisis: States set for another round of legal battle with CBN



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Some states of the federation are set for another round of legal battle over partial compliance with the Supreme Court judgment on the redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

National Daily gathered that no fewer than 10 states have opted to continue with the legal battle over the use of old and new naira notes.

The states, sources said, have directed their lawyers to reactivate the contempt proceedings against AGF, Malami (SAN) and Emefiele. The contempt charges will be activated from next week in the apex court.

They described the CBN directive to banks to enforce the Supreme Court judgement as “deceptive” because of “lack of cash backing.”

This followed the persistence of cash scarcity despite the apex court’s verdict on March 3 that the old N1000 and N500 notes be recirculated and be allowed to run with the redesigned notes till December 31.

READ ALSOBanks reopen ATMs, dispense old Naira notes

In a two paragraph statement on Tuesday (11 days after the judgment was delivered), the CBN directed banks to resume the collection and payment of the old notes.

The CBN directive came on a day the Presidency said the apex bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami needed no clearance from President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Investigation revealed that the states have rejected the attitude of the CBN to the judgment of the court.

The aggrieved states, which obtained the judgment are: Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos and Sokoto.

It was learnt that a review meeting by some of the governors yesterday indicated that the people of the 10 states have no access to the old and new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes.

They claimed that they were “not swayed by the deception” of the CBN, which only issued a statement without giving effect to the judgment.

READ ALSONaira scarcity persists in Lagos despite CBN’s directives


According to findings, the grouses of the states were based on the following five grounds: Non-availability of the currency notes of N1, 000, N500 and N200; Many people in the10 states have been going to banks without access to cash; Most ATMs are not dispensing N1,000, N500 and N200; CBN has not taken any concrete step to reduce the suffering or hardship of the people of the affected states and that contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court, the CBN is still limiting the amount that can be withdrawn and the charges therein.

According to the lead counsel to the states, Mr. A. U. Mustapha (SAN), as far as the concerned clients are concerned, there is no compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court. What the CBN has done is deceptive, cosmetic and merely playing to the gallery to deride the highest court in the country.

“The governors said the people of their states are still suffering from the non-availability of the concerned currency notes. In the light of the judgment, it is a discretion of the Supreme Court CBN to refuse to make the affected currency notes available or limit the amount a customer can withdraw.

READ ALSOOld Naira notes: I didn’t tell CBN to disobey Supreme Court judgment

Responding to a question, Mustapha said: “We will go ahead with the contempt proceedings from next week. We are set for the next phase of the legal battle in the interest of all Nigerians.”

The Supreme Court had extended the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1, 000 to December 31st, 2023.

The Attorney-General of the Federation was served the enrolled order, dated March 3rd, 2023 last Friday.

By the service, the order became automatically applicable to all agencies of the Federal Government, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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