Our reporter/ The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, has stopped the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), President Muhammadu Buhari and 27 commercial banks from suspending or interfering with the currency redesign terminal date of February 10, or issue any directive contrary to the said date.
Justice Eneojo Eneche gave the ruling in a motion filed by five political parties.
The court also granted an order directing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the banks, to show cause why they should not be arrested and prosecuted for the financial sabotage of the country, by illegally hoarding and not disbursing the new N200, N500, and N1000 bank notes, despite supply of such notes by the central bank.
The CBN, President Muhammadu Buhari, and several banks were included as defendants in the suit.
“An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the defendants whether by themselves, staff agents, officers, interfacing banks or whosoever not to suspend, stop, extend, vary or interfere with the extant termination date of use of the old N200, N500, and N1000 bank note being 10th day of February, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice,” the court held.
The CBN late last year approved the redesign of the banknotes. The move has, however, created hardship among Nigerians who have struggled to lay hands on the new notes as the February 10th deadline for the currency swap inches closer.
In the wake of the naira swap crisis, the CBN maintained it would not extend the deadline.
The recent CBN policy has been met with polarising views as some have expressed support for the apex bank’s decision, while many others have kicked against it as insensitive to the average Nigerian.
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