February 08, (THEWILL) – The Supreme Court ruling restraining the federal government from implementing the February 10, 2023 deadline phase out of the old N1000, N500, and N200 notes is irrelevant, non-binding and a distraction, according to a legal opinion on the matter seen by THEWILL.
“Neither the CBN nor deposit money banks were parties to the suit filed by three state governments (Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara). The state governments simply took advantage of the fact that in matters purely between state and the FG, the Supreme Court can serve as the court of first and only instance. Joining the CBN in the matter would immediately rob the supreme court of jurisdiction,” the opinion said.
“Only the CBN is empowered by Law to determine what is termed legal tender, not the Supreme Court. The Attorney General of the Federation cannot issue a binding order on the apex bank governor or board as the CBN act didn’t contemplate such and the interim order is simply an academic attempt at grandstanding,” the opinion added.
THEWILL can, however, report authoritatively that the CBN deadline of February 10, 2023, will not change, according to senior officials of the regulator, who spoke anonymously. “We are not a party to the suit”, one of the officials said.
THEWILL reports that the CBN Governor, the Attorney General of the Federation and some senior officials of the administration met with President Muhammadu Buhari after the Supreme Court ruling. There was no official statement after their meeting.
Editor’s note: This report has been updated to correct our previous report which alluded that this legal opinion was from the CBN. We regret the error.