Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s insistence on the February 10 deadline for the old naira notes, most Lagosians are still using the outdated currency as legal tender. The CBN had noted on Monday that it would not obey the Supreme Court’s ruling of a stay of execution saying the old notes ceased to be a legal tender by February 10. “People are still accepting the old notes for business,” said a POS operator in Ikorodu, Lagos. “Since there are no new notes anywhere, some of the banks have closed their offices, and the ATMs have become idle. Does the government want people to die of starvation?
Also speaking was a market woman, Morenike Adekunbi. “The new naira notes are not available so we have to use the old ones for now. “I don’t know whether the government is even thinking about the plight of ordinary people like us who don’t have bank accounts. Even now those who have bank accounts cannot get their money when they want to.”
Meanwhile human rights lawyer Femi Falana has lampooned the CBN for flaunting the Supreme Court order. “In a country where the rule of law operates, once the Supreme Court has determined a matter or given an order, it is expected that all and sundry – everybody – will comply with the order,” Falana said during an interview with Channels TV. “[A] statement was credited to the central bank that since it was not a party to the case, it’s not going to comply with the order. I thought that could only happen in a banana republic. “I expected the central bank to have issued a statement following the order of the Supreme Court: ‘all actions are stale until the 15th of February’,” he said. “For me, an example has to be made this time around, so that nobody will feel that he’s above the law in our country.”
The Supreme Court will Wednesday, begin to hear the suit brought by Kaduna, Kogi and Kano challenging the CBN and Federal government on the naira swap policy. They argued that the CBN and the FG did not follow the proper channel for a currency renewal. The Supreme Court had asked the CBN to suspend the deadline till the case is determined on February 15. More States have joined in the suit against the CBN and the FG.

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