Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has declared that old Naira notes remain legal tender in Kaduna State.
El-Rufai’s declaration countered President Muhammadu Buhari‘s pronouncement during his nationwide broadcast earlier on Thursday morning.
The Nigerian leader had maintained yesterday that the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stands.
Buhari said only the old N200 notes would be acceptable for transactions, while the old N500 and N1000 remain banned, as announced by the apex bank earlier. He had asked Nigerians to take the old denominations to the CBN and designated places.
However, in his statewide address on Thursday night, Governor El-Rufai declared that all the old Naira notes would remain legal tender in Kaduna until the Supreme Court of Nigeria decides otherwise.
He said: “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 the Supreme Court extended further yesterday.
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.
El-Rufai said the Federal Government had asserted that the reason for the banning of the old N1,000 and N500 notes was because they had been destroyed after the deadline.
He said: “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 we see daily. We insisted that all the components of the Supreme Court order should be complied with,” the Kaduna State reiterated.