Following the growing Naira shortage bedeviling the country owing to the introduced new notes that are still scarce and not properly circulated, the Supreme court today (Wednesday) will resume the legal fireworks between the three northern States controlled by the All Progressives Congress, APC, (Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi) and the federal government.
Recall that last week the supreme court gave an interim injunction suspending the February 10 deadline given by the CBN for the old notes to be legal tender in the country.
The Apex Court will hear the merit of the main application brought by the applicant (Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi) and decide whether to vacate the interlocutory injunction it had earlier granted against the CBN.
The court temporarily gave the order, cancelling the CBN’s February 10 deadline to end the validity of the old versions of the banknotes based on an ex parte application filed by three northern States controlled by the ruling APC.
Three State governments, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, had sued the federal government at the Supreme Court over the hardship occasioned by the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes.
The States, in their applications, prayed the Supreme Court for an order to restrain the CBN from ending the use of the old currency notes on February 10 as threatened by the bank.
They cited the suffering the scarcity of the new banknotes had brought upon many Nigerians.
They said, “many citizens have to date not seen the newly redesigned naira notes, let alone exchanged their old notes for the new ones,” despite the government’s assurances to make the currency available.
After listening to the applicants’ lawyer, Justice Okoro granted the application as prayed, a decision he said his panel took after “careful consideration”.
He also issued 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, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denominations of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction”.
Checks by TheNewsGuru correspondents in Lagos and Ogun states show that the scarcity of the new note is still biting very hard.
Many businesses have been forced to close down owing to lack of fund to power it on.
Banks in many metropolis are either shut down or not transacting monetary business as Automated Teller Machines ATMs are either not dispensing and totally out of service or reduced to just doing transfers and checking balance only.
Our correspondent spoke to the staffers of Sterling bank in Magboro in Ogun state and they said they can’t say when they will be re-opening the banking hall for business for fear of being attacked. The bank is the only one serving the commodity and it’s has been closed down for almost a week now.
A branch of Access bank in Ibafo is also under lock and keys with resumption date not in sight.
However, Zenith Bank and Eco bank inside the Mountain of Fire Ministries Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are opened for business but only issuing out few new notes to customers.
Findings also show that many banks in the Berger area of Lagos are still under lock and keys with their ATMs not working.
According to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele the deadline for the old notes to cease to be legal tender remains unchanged.
Findings also show that many business owners are insisting on new notes or no business for their customers in many areas in Lagos and Ogun states.