Nigeria: Northern State Drags Federal Government to Supreme Court Over New Naira Notes
By Joshua Samuel
On Saturday, the Niger State Government announced that it had taken the Federal Government of Nigeria to court over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign policy. Justice Nasara Danmallam, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, revealed this in a statement in Minna.
According to Danmallam, the Niger State Government is the plaintiff in the case with suit number SC/CV/210/2023, which was filed on Friday with the plaintiff being the Niger State Government.
This comes after three Northern States—Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara—filed a lawsuit against the federal government on the same matter less than a week ago.
According to the statement, the Niger State government was requesting, among other reliefs, an extension of the CBN’s deadline for the currency swap and the removal of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 from circulation.
It further stated that the Federal government’s three-month deadline for the nationwide withdrawal of old money was unreasonable and in contravention of Article 13, 14(2)(b), and 17(1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The Niger Government argued that the lack of the freshly redesigned notes had created immeasurable pains and sufferings for the inhabitants of the State, especially rural residents throughout the State, in the affidavit in support of the originating summons, which was filed before the Supreme Court.
Recall that the CBN had previously stated that it would extend the time period for a complete switchover to the new naira notes. According to CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, the deadline has been pushed back until February 10, 2023.
The CBN deadline of February 10 was, however, already invalidated by the Supreme Court. Last Wednesday, a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel chaired by Justice John Okoro directed that the old naira notes continue to be used until the supreme court rules on the issue on February 15.