Naira redesign: Suspicion, anxiety grow as Malami opposes El-Rufai, others

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Naira redesign: Suspicion, anxiety grow as Malami opposes El-Rufai, others

There is widespread worry in Nigeria with only 24 hours till the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes.



The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) plan to outlaw the use of the old naira notes starting on February 10, 2023, was temporarily delayed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

An ex-parte application filed by the three northern States of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara was decided upon by a 7-member panel chaired by Justice John Okoro, who also suspended the action.

The three States specifically requested an order of interim injunction prohibiting “the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on February 10, 2023, the period of time during which the now-outdated 200, 500, and 1,000 naira denominations of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”

The applicants’ attorney, Mr. A. I. Mustapha, SAN, moved the application on Wednesday, pleading with the supreme court to grant it in the interest of justice and the welfare of Nigerians.

According to him, the government’s policies have created a “excruciating scenario that is practically going to chaos in the nation.”

Since then, there have been a variety of responses to the decision around the nation.

Others have requested President Muhammadu Buhari to overturn the decision with an executive order, despite the fact that certain Nigerians, including the camp of APC Presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, are applauding the decision.

A short time after the decision, President Buhari and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele met at the Aso Rock Villa.

Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has already initiated legal actions to contest the Supreme Court’s authority to extend the deadline.

Malami requested an order throwing out the three Northern States’ lawsuit to stop the full implementation of the new monetary policy that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had established in a preliminary objection he filed on behalf of the Federal Government.

He is the only defendant in the lawsuit with the case number SC/CV/162/2023, and he requested that it be completely dismissed on the grounds that the three States lacked locus-standi.

Malami said that the three States were disputing the ability of the FG, through its agency, the CBN, to remove old banknotes and introduce new ones, which was one of his justifications for contesting the Supreme Court’s right to interfere in the case.

Nigerians are eagerly expecting the CBN’s next move, especially with the deadline approaching on Friday, February 10, and President Buhari having earlier requested one week to make a significant decision on the issue.

Speaking to Tgpbaze on Wednesday, the head of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) digital media, Barrister Tony Ehilebo, asserted that the governing All Progressives Congress’s (APC) intention to exchange the N21 billion it had put aside for vote-buying was based on reliable intelligence.

However, he asserted that the States lacked the necessary authority to halt the CBN policy, hence Governor Nasir El-Rufia of Kaduna State and his allies’ attempts to do so would fail.

The APC is allegedly seeking to exchange N21 billion using the State government’s resources, especially in the States that they control, according to information that has reached us, he claimed.

“We have raised all required alarms even though we are unsure if this has occurred or not.

“These are the inquiries that we ought to be posing. Since the NFIU has immediate access to any questionable cash transaction, we anticipate that it will be doing an excellent job.

“I’m one of the proponents and one of the writers of the National Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, and I anticipate that it will live up to expectation, therefore I don’t have any issues with the CBN policy.

In my opinion, it might not even favor the PDP, but Nigeria would benefit most from it. We’ll support whichever Nigerians choose, which at this stage, I believe is the PDP.

Regarding the most recent Supreme Court injunction, he continued, “It is a standard court procedure. When you rush to court crying that lives are in danger, it is the court’s responsibility to first step in, bring all parties to the table, and give them a chance to respond.

“For this reason, injunctions only last for a maximum of seven days. But I think this will go the other way. If you take notice, it was provided on the 7th and expires on the 15th, which is also the day of the formal hearing.


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