By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, has warned that his administration will no longer condone rejection of the old naira notes by people and businesses in the state even after the Supreme Court has validated their use.
The Governor said rejection of the old naira notes is a clear disobedience of the Supreme Court ruling, and his administration will vehemently resisted it.
“Anyone who rejects the old naira notes should be reported to the security and government authorities for immediate arrest and prosecution,” Bello’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Kingsley Fanwo said in a statement in Lokoja.
He also said his administration will seal up aby financial institutions that willfully disobey the Supreme Court judgment on the validity of the old notes.
The supreme court had last week’s Wednesday ruled that the old Naira notes of N1000, N500 and N200 should continue as legal tender alongside the new notes in all transactions until December 2023.
Though some banks have started giving out the old naira notes to their customers, traders and other business people have continued to reject them.
This was because neither the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN or the Federal Government has come out with a clear statement on the validity of the new naira notes in view of the Supreme Court ruling.
But Governor Bello described as “unacceptable” and “demeaning” the continuous rejection of the old Naira notes in spite of the supreme court ruling.
“This administration will not stand and watch some persons and businesses continue to reject the use of the old naira notes, even after the court judgement validating their use.
“To us, rejecting the old naira notes is a clear disobedience of the Supreme Court ruling, which shall be vehemently resisted.
“Anyone who rejects the old naira notes should be reported to the security and government authorities for immediate arrest and prosecution.
“Also, banks that refuse to accept old naira deposits shall be sealed up as the state government will not accommodate financial institutions that willfully disobey court orders, moreso, the orders of the highest court in Nigeria, ” Bello said.
The governor implored all residents of Kogi to endeavour to accept the old notes since the commercial banks have started issuing them (old naira notes) for day to day business transactions.
“As patriots, the people of Kogi are bound to also receive it, because we cannot continue to kill our economy after the Supreme Court has granted us freedom.”
“Consequently, the state government has set up a high-powered Committee to ensure full adherence and compliance to the ruling of the Supreme Court as regards the use of the old notes, ” Bello said.
He said the committee members include: the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning; Commissioner for Information and Communications.
Others are: Commissioner for Commerce and Industry; the State Security Adviser and the Managing Director, Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA).
The governor said that the Committee was to ensure that residents take full benefits of the Supreme Court ruling on the old naira notes .
The governor, however, congratulated Nigerians on the historic ruling of the Supreme Court, the highest court in Nigeria.
He explained that it was for that reason that the Kogi Government joined other State Governments in the country to pursue the case, and were victorious.