Tussle over the legal tender of old N200,N500 and N1000 Naira Notes deepened at the weekend as ten state governments asked the Supreme Court to void President Buhari’s Special Broadcast of February 16, 2023, alleging that it varied the order of the apex Court on the matter before it.
President Buhari had on a national broadcast on Thursday, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days.
He had explained that the directive was meant to ease the hardship millions of Nigerians are facing in accessing their funds from commercial banks across the country following the demonetization policy that phaseout the three old Naira notes on February 10, 2023.
Buhari also stated that in line with the policy, old N500 and N1000 Naira notes ceased to be legal tender by February 10 deadline and he advised those in possession of the two old Naira notes to take them to Central Bank of Nigeria before February 17, 2023.
Aggrieved by the announcement Kaduna and Kano States governments through their governors Mallam Nasiru el-Rufia and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje respectively issued counter directive directing residents not to reject the old Naira notes.
Ten aggrieved state governments: Kaduna,Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina,Ogun, Cross Rivers,Lagos , Sokoto that were already in court as plaintiffs against the Attorney General of Federation, Edo and Bayelsa state governments on Friday returned to the court with an application.
In a fresh application marked: SC/CV/162/2023, the plaintiffs are asking the apex court for an order setting aside the directives contained in the special and Presidential media broadcast delivered on Thursday, February 16, 2023 by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for being unconstitutional overreach.
They also want the apex court to void President Buhari’s Special Broadcast as it usurped the judicial power of the court on a matter constituting the subject matter of the suit pending suit, on which there is subsisting order of interim injunction binding in all parties including the President who is a party through the named nominal defendant in person of the 1st defendant as the chief legal officer of the Federation.
The plaintiffs brought the application in pursuant to sections 6(6)(b), 232(1) 287(1)of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). It was through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Zamfara State, Junaidu Aminu and a private legal Practitioners Abiodu Owonokoko SAN