A cross-section of Nigerians has reacted to the Supreme Court's decision to temporarily halt the move by the Federal Government to ban the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023.
We reported on Wednesday that a seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro, stopped the move of the federal government in a ruling in an exparte application brought by three northern states of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara.
The three states had specifically applied for 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, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction".
Moving the application on Wednesday, counsel to the applicants, Mr A. I. Mustapha, SAN, had urged the Supreme Court to grant the application in the interest of justice and the well-being of Nigeria.
Mustapha stated that the government's policy has led to an "excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land ".
While he referred to CBN's statistics which put the number of people who don't have bank accounts at over 60 per cent, Mustapha lamented that the few Nigerians with bank accounts couldn't even access their monies from the bank as a result of the policy.
Delivering a ruling in the motion, Justice Okoro held that after careful consideration of the motion exparte this application is granted as prayed, "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, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction".
He, however, adjourned to February 15, 2023, for a hearing of the main suit.
However, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to react to the development. Some criticized the Supreme Court's decision, while others hailed the apex court.
Here are some comments gathered from Twitter:
@aholagunju, "A win for democracy!
@MaziGomez, "This is the time Buhari should disobey a court order. Not all those ones he's been doing."
@KenUttih, "Yet again, the same Supreme Court. We need something beyond the norm to fight corruption in Nigeria. Citizens must play the major role to make it happen no matter the method adopted."
@OpigoPeter, "This whole new Naira note drama is beginning to look like a comedy show."
@SkinnyBoi001, "Even if the deadline is extended to December this year, people would still go through what they are going through now."
@Classic84073745, "Why are all these APC governors taking this money issue very seriously? They never take security and educational matters seriously like this."
@Danidon, "Clearly, President Buhari is not the strongest person in APC. Why are they bent on stopping this? Why are they not compelling CBN to make the new notes more available instead?
@Mr_temitope, "Nigerian politicians always have their own way. Now, it seems like the court has joined them."
@Mr_temitope, "Nigeria politicians will always have their way. This is a sad reality."
@austinemarobe, "If they can do it for old Naira notes, they can do it for Fuel and all other problems we are having in the country."
@630bbba13a784b7, "Pain relief news, CBN should do the needful by making a new Naira note available for us. People are going through a lot. Only you know."
@estoyjsybruce, "This compromised Supreme Court."
@ChidiNdumnego, "I'm really ashamed of the Nigerian Judiciary; really ashamed. It keeps churning out immoral judgments of late."
@eekabadcrane, "I welcome this order from the supreme court."