Cash crisis persists as S’Court adjourns judgement on Naira redesign till March 3


The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned a case instituted by the state governments against the Federal Government challenging the implementation of the naira redesign.

Uba Group

The apex court adjourned the case to March 3 for judgement.

Earlier, the apex court consolidated the suits instituted by over 12 state governments.

At the last hearing on February 15, seven states joined the three initial states as co-plaintiffs, while Edo and Bayelsa states joined the Federal Government as co-defendants.

The court, however, refused to join Abia State in the suit on the ground that it came late with its originating summons.

All efforts by the Abia State Government to be joined in the suit, was turned down and was ordered to present its case at a later date.

A motion for the consolidation was also argued by the counsel for Rivers State, Emmanuel Ukala.

Moving the motion on notice, Ukala premised the consolidation request on the need for the suit to be heard without any hindrance since the matter is on the same issue.

The head of the 7-man panel, Justice John Okoro, granted the request and ordered consolidation of the 10 suits into one.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the Attorneys General of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, and Lagos States while the defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as well as the AGs of Bayelsa and Edo States.

Commencing arguments, counsel for the Federal Government, Kanu Agabi, said the Supreme Court held that all reliefs are rooted in Section 20 of the CBN Act, therefore, the apex court has no jurisdiction to hear the suit as the action cannot commence with an Originating Summons.

He wondered why the plaintiffs did not bring the CBN governor to court as a respondent, after making reference to him 32 times in their Originating Summons.

He said the reliefs are against the CBN, yet they didn’t deem it fit to bring the CBN into the matter.

He added that Nigerians had already begun rejecting the old notes way before the President’s directive.

Agabi insisted that the President is not in violation of the Supreme Court order as under the constitution, the President is empowered to veto any legislation.

Counsels for Edo and Bayelsa States, also agree that the suit be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

The counsel for Rivers urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought therein

Counsel to the AGF, also urged the court to dismiss the suit entirely.


Also, the Attorney General of Kano State, who is a co-plaintiff, argued that President Buhari sidelined members of the National Economic Council and only relied on the advice of the CBN governor in the implementation of the monetisation policy.

He added that the President decided to exercise his powers without consulting with the state governments as required by the law.

He further said that they have a security report that there will be breach of law and order if nothing is done to address the issue of cash scarcity.

He added that the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje is a member of the council and he told him that the issue was never discussed at the NEC meeting.

Rather, the President relied only on one member of the council, and the CBN governor ignored the Finance Minister and the Vice President who is the chairman of the council.

Also, the Attorney General of Jigawa stated that Section 148 of the constitution, compelled the President to seek the advice of the Jigawa State governor as a federating unit but the President did not do so in the Federal Government implementation of the redesign policy.


However, the conflicting directives from both President Buhari and the Supreme Court have created confusion in the banking sector and among the generality of Nigerians.

They said the court’s decision on Wednesday to keep judgment till March 3 will further heighten the anxiety as Nigerians prepare for the February 25 presidential election.

Many Nigerians took to twitter to give their opinion on the matters arising from the Supreme Court’s rule on the matter.

Former Senator, Shehu Sani said the Supreme has left the federal and state governments in limbo over the decision to adjourn judgment to March 3.

“The Supreme Court left the two fighting couples in the middle of the sea.”

@Benigbakpa, a member of the House of Representatives said ”The Supreme Court just offered an alternative justification in favour of the Federal Government by assigning a similar probability to sustain the conviction of @MBuhari and @GodwinIEmefiele. Chaotic consequences for the plaintiff.

@Sanusi Dantata in his reaction said “We all are suffering for the sins of a few! Thanks to the Naira Redesign Policy, and subsequent downturn in economic activities, see how our eggs dey pile! Our store and floor are entire. We must continue to Feed our Birds! Meanwhile, people need to buy! God will see us through.”

On his part, Boniface Chizea, Chief Executive Officer, BIC Consulting Services, said in spite of the directives, the general elections will be held because people are desperate for a change.

“No sector of the economy is working at the moment and that is clear to everyone. The economy is groaning due to many factors. There is insecurity everywhere and cash is not available to carry out the routine daily transactions.

“Our children are moving out of the country in droves because they see no future in this country. They go to climes where they are not appreciated, where they don’t have any social life, where the owners of the land will abuse and discriminate against them. Yet they had to leave because there is nothing here for them to live on.

“I believe that the Central Bank needs to intervene in the aspect of scarcity of the redesigned new Naira notes to make life much easier for Nigerians and save them the present hassles,” he argued.

Continuing, he said “the government has its target and it will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda. The purpose of this currency redesign is to discourage vote buying and the government is bent on achieving it. The politicians on the other hand know they are the main target and they are crying foul. They are doing everything possible to put pressure on the government to make cash available to them to spend during the elections but they cannot have their way this time.

“But be assured that Nigerians are tired of all these problems and that is enough to drive them out to vote for the candidates they believe will bring succour to them after the elections.

“I hear governors directing banks that collect old cash which the CBN said is no longer a legal tender since February 10, 2023. Where is that done? Meanwhile, I would expect the CBN to step up the game in this regard to make the newly redesigned notes available to the people in the meantime despite aiming at a cashless society which is the way to go ultimately.”

Another economist, Marcel Okeke, argued that the current situation in the country is contrived.

He said politicians are out to frustrate the CBN. “Can you imagine APC politicians in the same party and government taking themselves to court? Is there any issue between them? No. “The reason is that before now they have stashed huge sums of money away to influence the election. But the CBN and the President are saying it is either you get the money out or waste it. So, the politicians have again resorted to using their powerful long tentacles to mop the new money from the coffers of the banks and they are still keeping plenty of the old cash with them. So, they are hoping that they can muzzle the CBN to do their bidding so that the old notes which they cannot take to the banks will still be useful to them.

“This is what we call a clash between politics and economics.

“Also remember that the people in CBN have their allegiances to people in government because virtually all of them at the apex bank got there by political influence. So, all of them, including the Governor of the CBN have interests to protect.

“Meanwhile, the CBN has made its stand very clear. It says it is sticking to its February 10 deadline after which the old notes are no longer legal tender. Remember that the CBN 2002 Act makes it clear that it is not answerable to the Supreme Court but to the Federal High Court. But in this case, everything starts and ends with the Supreme Court which cannot hold down the Central Bank.

“What I see in all these is that political gladiators who are at the centre of all these happenings only want to make a mockery of the Central Bank. But President Muhammadu Buhari wants to leave a legacy as he has said at different fora that the best candidate must emerge President. He said he does not want any candidate to influence his or her emergence as President with money.

“Nigerians will vote because we are now wiser. We are tired of the situation in the country. Mind you, the polling booths in most cases are close to our houses, so we need no transportation. I tell you that the people will vote and there will be some shockers because they are angry.”