Naira Swap Policy: Okada Riders, Artisans, Others Reject Old Notes

Despite the Supreme Court ruling, suspending the deadline for the old naira validity, Okada Riders, Artisans, Market men and women are rejecting the old banknotes.

TheFact Daily checks around Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs revealed that even some supermarkets are rejecting the old naira notes.

The development was in contrast with the push by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for Nigerians to stop depositing their old naira notes in banks, assuring that the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu would reverse the policy if voted into power as the next President.

Recall, the Supreme Court in a ruling led by Justice John Okoro temporarily restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from implementing the February 10 deadline for N200, N500 and N1,000 validity.

The Supreme Court ruling was in respect of the suit instituted against the CBN and Federal Government by the APC Governors.

However, a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nigeria asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to vacate the order by the Supreme Court restraining the Federal Government from implementing the February 10 deadline for the validity of old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes.

The National Coordinator of the group, Obed Okwukwe, while speaking during a press conference claimed that Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

“We say it categorically that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain that matter that has been presented before it by some state Attorney General. We the CSOs are rejecting it.

“It is a plot to open bank vaults to enable vote buyers and holders of illicit wealth to have cash to buy votes. We urge the CJN to hurriedly vacate the Ex-parte order in the overall interest of the Nigerian election,” Okwukwe said.

Also, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by the three state governors challenging the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In a preliminary objection filed by the AGF through his lawyers – Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali – the Federal Government argued that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

He said, while the federal government would obey the Supreme Court ruling, which put on hold the CBN naira policy, the government would take necessary steps to set aside the interim order.

The case was scheduled for hearing on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

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