El-Rufai said until the Supreme Court says otherwise, the old naira notes shall remain legal tender in Kaduna State.
There has been yet another twist in the ongoing drama about the currency swap as Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, has insisted that the old N1,000 and N500 notes remain legal tender in his state.
In a statewide broadcast on the night of Thursday, February 16, 2023, El-Rufai appealed to Kaduna residents to continue to use the old naira notes alongside the new notes without any fear.
The governor’s declaration comes in defiance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement in a nationwide broadcast early Thursday morning that only the old N200 note will be recirculated until April 10 as the old N1,000 and N500 notes have ceased to be legal tender since February 10, 2023.
The president, therefore, urged Nigerians still in possession of the ‘invalid’ notes to take them to designated Central Bank centres for lodging.
But, El-Rufai on Thursday night countered Buhari’s order, as he claimed that the old notes remain legal tender until Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise.
El-Rufai’s words: “For the avoidance of doubt, all the old and new notes shall remain in use as legal tender in Kaduna State until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise.
“I therefore appeal to all residents of Kaduna State to continue to use the old and new notes side by side without any fear. The Kaduna State Government and its agencies shall seal any facility that refuses to accept the old notes as legal tender and prosecute the owners.
“If need be, we shall take further consequential actions according to the law. The address by the President earlier this morning limiting the legal tender status of old notes to only N200 amounts to total disregard and disobedience of the ruling of February 8th which was extended further yesterday by the Supreme Court.
“The misguided action of the Attorney-General to mislead the President into engaging in this public violation of the order of the highest court of the land shows how desperate the policy architects are to cause national chaos, by showing open contempt for the judiciary.
“The decision to recognise only N200 as legal tender till April that the President announced this morning was offered to the state governments as part of proposals for an out-of-court settlement three days ago.
“The Federal Government asserted that this was offered because all the ‘old’ N1,000 and N500 notes had been destroyed. We rejected the offer and proved to the officials that not a single higher denomination note had been destroyed.
“We also believe that circulating N200 only to be inadequate in alleviating the suffering that we see everyday. We insisted that all the components of the Supreme Court order should be complied with.”