President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have still not responded to the Supreme Court decision declaring the old naira notes legal money till December 31, 2023, three days after it was issued.
The Federal Government's decision to discontinue the use of the old N500 and N1,000 notes as legal money, which went into effect on February 10, was declared invalid by the Supreme Court on Friday.
The difficulty of the cash crunch still exists over a month after the majority of the old notes were removed from circulation since replacement notes have been difficult to come by.
President Buhari addressed Nigerians on February 16 and ordered that the old N200 be put back into circulation to lessen the suffering endured by citizens after the policy and the anguish it caused were widely condemned.
A seven-member Supreme Court bench overturned the policy on Friday, criticizing how the administration handled the procedure and deeming both its methodology and application to be unconstitutional.
The President was needed to give the federating units ample notice before implementing the new monetary policy through the CBN, the Supreme Court decided, even if the President had the power to serve as the federation's executive.
The court ruled that the states had not been given fair notice as required by section 20(3) of the CBN Act before the old naira notes were withdrawn.
As a result, the Supreme Court determined that Buhari's authorization for the CBN to withdraw the old banknotes was unlawful in its lead judgement, which was read by Justice Emmanuel Agim.
After delivering three press releases on different topics yesterday, the Presidency had not yet responded to the judgement as of yesterday evening. Also, the CBN has not yet responded to the decision with anything.
Warlords in Chad and the heads of the various political factions in the country were urged by President Buhari, who is currently in Qatar for a United Nations (UN) conference on least developed countries, to exercise restraint and patriotism by getting involved in the country's ongoing democratic transition.
As Nigeria is ready to play The Gambia in the competition's semifinals today, he also urged the Flying Eagles to win the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that is now taking place in Egypt. He had already expressed sympathy to Maryam Abacha, the former first lady, and her entire family for the loss of their son Abdullahi.
Business owners, meanwhile, stated Tuesday that they are eager to hear from President Buhari or the CBN on the authenticity of the old notes, adding that it is unsafe to take the notes until there is a directive from either the Presidency or the CBN.
They said that the uproar that followed a similar Supreme Court ruling that was disregarded was what ultimately led to their conclusion.
Abubakar Umar, a cab driver, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that he was hoping that President Buhari or the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, would talk about whether or not they should proceed with accepting the old notes within the next week. He stated that he would insist that consumers only pay him with brand-new N500 or N1,000 notes up until such a mandate was issued.
When asked by NAN if she would take the old notes, Madam Uloma, a minor merchant, simply said, "Until I hear from the horse's mouth, I will not collect the old notes."
Uloma claimed she would not want to experience the anxiety she did when the CBN deemed the notes illegal.
A local named Fred Oyibo expressed his excitement following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the usage of old currencies. He added that despite the verdict, shop owners are still refusing to accept the old notes, and he voiced sorrow that he could not use them.
"I had roughly 3,000 of the old N1,000 notes with me, and I was delighted when the court made its decision. However, to my shock, the money was turned down when I went shopping for a few things.
"I tried telling them that the Supreme Court had lifted the restriction, but they inquired as to whether the CBN had spoken. I further attempted to inform them that once the Supreme Court issues a decision, everyone is required to abide by it, but they insisted on waiting to hear from the Presidency before acting.
"At that time, I became dejected and returned home, and as I talk with you, I still have the money," he stated.
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