By Ifeoma Nwovu
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has restrained the Federal Government from continuing with the full implementation of the demonetisation policy.
The three States of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, had on the 3rd of this month, filed a motion ex-parte praying the apex court to halt the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, naira redesign policy.
A 7-man panel of the Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted an interim injunction restraining the Federal Government, CBN, and the commercial banks from implementing the February 10, deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes to stop being a legal tender.
The court further held that the FG, CBN and commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a motion on notice in respect of the issue on February 15.
By this ruling, the old Naira notes will continue to be a legal tender in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the deadline for the use of the old naira notes if the scarcity does not ease after the February 10 deadline.
In a statement from the IMF Nigeria Office, a further extension will take care of the difficulty being experienced due to the shortage of new banknotes available to the public.
It acknowledged the measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process but said an extension will be in the interest of the economy, in the event that the scarcity persists.
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