Joshua Alobo has petitioned the Federal High Court’s Abuja Division to order the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to delay the January 31 deadline for the phase-out of the old (N200, N500, and N1,000) naira notes.
Mr. Alobo asked the court to issue an injunction prolonging the time period when the old banknotes would cease to be legal currency for three weeks in the lawsuit with the file number FHC/ABJ/CS/114/2023. The CBN, the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the attorney general of the federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, are listed as the first through third defendants in the lawsuit.
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The plaintiff informed the court that the CBN governor had declared on October 26 that the central bank will introduce a new series of redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes into the financial system. This information was provided in an affidavit attested by a person named Musa Damudi.
He said that the new notes, which President Muhammadu Buhari presented on November 23 in an effort to combat inflation and establish a cashless society to combat money laundering and corruption, were unavailable and that this was worrying Nigerians.
Mr. Alobo charged banks with neglecting to provide their clients with the new notes.
The law professor said that the January 31 deadline discriminates against those who live in rural areas, the underprivileged, and those who are destitute.
“This is as politically exposed persons are paid with the redesigned notes. The cashless policy of the CBN is innovative and a welcome development but the rural dwellers that constitute the bulk of the population do not have access to internet and banking facilities,” Mr Alobo explained. “The current daily limit of transaction to N20,000 is against the central bank’s daily limit of N100,000.”
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