On Friday, March 10, 2023, the Kogi State Government issued a warning to residents of the state against rejecting old N500 and N1000 notes, threatening to arrest anyone found guilty of such an offense.
This warning comes despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which stated that the old N1,000 and N500 notes should remain legal tender till December 2023.
The state’s commissioner for information and communication, Kingsley Fanwo, emphasised that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had issued a circular after the Supreme Court ruling, directing banks and other financial institutions to accept the old notes for deposit and other transactions.
However, some residents of the state had been rejecting the old notes, citing reasons such as the notes being dirty and torn.
“It has come to the notice of the Kogi State Government that some residents of the state are rejecting old N500 and N1000 notes,” Fanwo said.
“Anyone found rejecting the old notes will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law. We urge all residents of the state to comply with this directive and not to engage in any activity that will undermine the efforts of the government to promote a cashless economy.”
The Supreme Court ruling early in March, 2023, was in response to a case brought before the court by a group of traders who challenged the CBN’s decision to phase out the old notes.
The court ruled that the CBN did not follow due process in announcing the withdrawal of the old notes and that the notes should remain legal tender until December 2023.
Despite this ruling, the Kogi State Government’s warning remains in effect, and they called on the public to report any bank or financial institution that refuses to accept the old notes for transactions.