Court Officials Decline Old Notes

Business activities at the various court registry in Lagos State were grounded today as court officials declined to receive old naira notes from litigants and lawyers on the ground that their official bank, Polaris, is no longer accepting it as legal tender.

Specifically, the account officials at the court registry in Ikeja High Court, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said attempt to pay in old note collected by them into the government account was denied by the Polaris Bank.

She also said that they have received directive from their boss to stop collecting old currency, noting that henceforth, lawyers and litigants must not come with the old currency because it will no longer be accepted.

The officials further said that the only currency acceptable for filing of court processes in the Lagos Judiciary Registry is the new notes.

One of the affected lawyers who did not want to mention his name confirmed that the registry at Osborne Division of Lagos High Court also rejected the old note and turned him back from filling his process.

He affirmed that the problem is not the judiciary official but that of the CBN governor who is visiting anarchy in the nation by jettison the Supreme Court order.

“Non acceptance of old notes would be catastrophe to the nation. The highest court in the land, Supreme Court order is being flouted with impunity. It is obvious that the CBN, especially the governor, Godwin Emefiele is ready to impose a state of anarchy on Nigeria by directing banks against the order of the apex court.”

As at the time of filing report, the Polris Bank PLC spokesperson, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa has not reply or respond to the question sent to him after several call. He claimed to be in a meeting.

Our correspondents who went round the Ikeja Metropolis observed that other banks rejecting the old notes include FCMB, Polaris, UBA and Fidelity Bank

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court’s interim order on February 8, 2023 restraining the CBN from going ahead with the enforcement of its February 10, deadline for the use of the old naira note.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday ordered the CBN not to put an end to the use of old naira notes on February 10, as earlier announced.

A seven-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro, gave the order of interim injunction amid acute scarcity of the newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 currency notes.

The court gave the order temporarily based on an application filed by three northern states being controlled by the All Progressive s Congress (APC), Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara States.

Last December, the CBN introduced the new notes amid efforts to fight corruption, terrorism, counterfeiting and related crimes. However, Nigerians have had a hard time getting the new notes amid scarcity and rising tension across the country.

The frustration has led to protests in parts of the country with angry Nigerians vandalizing ATMs and banks, many Nigerians besieged commercial banks and ATM points nationwide amid scarcity of the old and new naira notes.

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