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Old Naira Notes Remain Legal Tenders for Now, S’Court Rules

The Supreme Court in Abuja made a significant ruling affirming the continued legality of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes until proper measures are established for their replacement.

A seven-member panel, led by Justice John Okoro, issued the declaration while considering a motion brought forward by the Federal Government. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), alongside the Acting Director of Civil Appeals from the Federal Ministry of Justice, sought an extension of the court’s previous order, extending the lifespan of these old naira notes until the end of the year.

Originally slated for discontinuation under the currency redesign policy introduced in late 2022, the affected notes were granted an extended lifespan by the apex court in response to a suit filed by state governments in 2022.

In their recent ruling, the Supreme Court granted the Federal Government’s request, allowing the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to coexist as legal tender with their newer counterparts. The court emphasized that the old notes would remain in circulation until the government concludes consultations with key stakeholders and establishes necessary structures to phase them out.

The apex court’s decision amended its earlier order, permitting the continued use of the old notes until the government determines the cessation of their circulation after due consultation and structural preparations.

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