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Supreme Court Knocks FG Over Naira Redesign Policy, Declares Old Notes Valid

The Supreme Court, on Friday, faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes without consulting the 36 states of the federation.

According to The Vanguard reports, the apex court held that though President Buhari could exercise Executive Powers on behalf of the federation, he ought to have given reasonable notice to the federating units before executing the new monetary policy through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The Supreme Court held that reasonable notice was not given to the states as required under section 20(3) of the CBN Act, before the old Naira notes were withdrawn.

Consequently, the apex Court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the approval that President Buhari gave the CBN to withdraw the old banknotes was invalid.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court, has dismissed the preliminary objection the Federal Government filed to challenge its jurisdiction to hear the suit that 16 states filed to challenge the ban on use of old notes as legal tenders in the country.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that FG’s contention that it lacked the original jurisdiction to halt the full implementation of the Naira swap policy that was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, was invalid.

The apex Court held that contrary to FG’s position, the case the states brought for determination bordered on alleged failure by President Buhari, in the exercise of his Executive powers, to comply with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

It held that the plaintiffs were not wrong by not joining the CBN as a necessary party to the suit.

The apex Court held that the suit qualified as a dispute between FG and the federating states, to which the Supreme Court has exclusive and original jurisdiction to determine.

“It is glaring that the CBN has no power to introduce new Naira if there is not directive by the President. The CBN is an agency of the Federal Government.

“The suit as constituted could be effectively determined without joinder of the CBN.

In the light of the foregoing, I good that all the preliminary objections lacked merit and there are accordingly dismissed”, the apex court held.

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