In the wake of President Buhari’s nationwide broadcast declaring the old N500 and N1000 notes as no longer legal tenders, the Jigawa State government has taken a different stance. According to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Youths Sports and Culture, Ibrahim Mamsa, the old notes are still accepted as legal tender in the state pending the judgment of the Supreme Court.
Mamsa’s statement, which was released on Thursday, February 16, came as a surprise to many, given the President’s recent declaration. The Jigawa State government has received reports of individuals and corporate bodies rejecting the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes. The state government has expressed concern over this behavior and has called on residents to desist from disobeying the law and causing hardship to the people of Jigawa State.
The Jigawa State government has cited ongoing legal proceedings before the Supreme Court as the basis for their position. They are among several state governments with pending suits related to the issue. The Supreme Court has issued an order restraining the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria or any other organization, from suspending, determining or ending the time frame within which the now older versions of the 200, 500, and 1000 denominations of the naira may no longer be legal tender, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The Jigawa State government has assured residents that it respects their rights and will not hesitate to use relevant constitutional provisions and other extant laws to enforce the order of the Supreme Court. The state government has called on residents to report any trader or business organization that refuses to accept the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes as legal tender to the nearest appropriate authorities in the state.
In light of the divergent positions taken by the President and the Jigawa State government, it remains to be seen how this issue will play out. Residents of Jigawa State who are in possession of the old N500 and N1000 notes may be relieved to know that they are still considered legal tender in the state, at least for the time being.