Governor El-Rufai Defies President Buhari, Says All Old Notes Remain Valid

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In defiance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Naira redesign policy, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has declared that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes are still recognised as legal tender in the state.

President Buhari had announced in a national broadcast early on Thursday that, apart from N200, the old notes were no longer valid and urged Nigerians to exchange them for the new currency at designated locations, including the Central Bank.

However, Governor El-Rufai, in a state-wide address on Thursday night, stated that until the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivers a contrary verdict, the old notes will continue to be accepted as legal tender.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“We also believe that circulating N200 only to be inadequate in alleviating the suffering that we see every day. We insisted that all the components of the Supreme Court order should be complied with,” he said.

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