The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 8 February, 2023, temporarily halted the move by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban the use of old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes from Friday, 10 February, 2023.
A seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro halted the move of the Federal Government in a ruling in an exparte application brought by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states.
Moving the application on Wednesday, 8 February, 2023, counsel to the applicants, Mr A. I. Mustapha, SAN, urged the Apex Court to grant the application in the interest of justice and the well-being of Nigerians.
He stated that the policy of the government had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land “.
While he referred to a Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) statistics which put the number of people who don’t have bank accounts at over 60 percent, Mustapha lamented that the few Nigerians with bank accounts can’t even access their monies from the bank as a result of the policy.
The senior lawyer further argued that unless the Supreme Court intervenes the situation will lead to anarchy because most banks are already closing operations.
Delivering a ruling in the motion, Justice Okoro, held that after careful consideration of the motion exparte this application is granted as prayed, “An order of Interim Injunction restraining 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 time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
He accordingly adjourned to February 15, 2023 for hearing of the main suit.