Monday, Isa AbdulMumin, acting director of corporate communications for the central bank, disclosed this information in a statement. This comes ten days after the Supreme Court ruled that old and new naira banknotes must coexist until the end of the year.
In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.
"Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) convened with the Bankers’ Committee and directed that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes until December 31, 2023.
“Therefore, all parties are directed to conform accordingly,” read the statement.
The nation’s highest court ruled on March 3 that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes are legitimate until December 31, 2023.
This occurred after sixteen states of the Federation filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the policy’s introduction.
The sixteen states, led by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, petitioned the supreme court to declare the policy null and unlawful on the grounds that it imposes hardships on innocent Nigerians.
The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari’s disobedience to its February 8 order is a sign of dictatorship and that he violated the Constitution of the Federation by issuing directives for the re-designing of the Naira.
After the March 3 judgement by the Supreme Court, the Presidency, CBN and the AGF kept mum, throwing many bank customers and Nigerians into confusion as the ruling of the apex court contradicted the directive of the President on February 16 that old N500 and N1000 notes are banned and old N200 notes remain valid till April 10.
However, the Presidency broke its silence on Monday, stating that the President never instructed the CBN and AGF not to comply with the order of the highest court.
“The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the grounds that it is awaiting instructions from the President,” stated the Presidency.
The Presidency also asserted that the President is a strict adherent to the rule of law and that the “negative campaign and personal attacks against the President by the opposition and various commentators are unfair and unjust.”