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Abia threatens to sanction business owners, individuals rejecting old naira notes



The Abia State Government has threatened to place sanctions on business entities, individuals or groups that reject the old N500 and N1,000 naira notes for transactions following complaints that the notes were being rejected.

The threat which was contained in a statement issued in Umuahia on Saturday by Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem.

The state government said it had to take the decision in “line with the Supreme Court ruling extending the validity of the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes as legal tender to December 31.”

Part of the statement reads:

“Abia State Government advises Abia residents to feel free to carry out their financial transactions with the old naira notes alongside the new notes as stipulated.

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“Any individual, group or business entity that rejects the old notes will be contravening the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and stands the risk of facing sanctions,” it added.

The apex court, had, in a ruling on March 3, extended the validity of the N200, N500, and N1,000 Naira notes till 31 December following a suit originally filed by the Governors of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi States, Nasir El-Rufai, Bello Matawalle and Yahaya Bello, respectively.

In its judgement, a seven-member panel of the court led by Justice John Okoro had unanimously directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to continue receiving the old notes from Nigerians

The court had also held that the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari for the redesign of the new notes and withdrawal of the old notes without due consultation was invalid.

However, without the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and Buhari making a categorical statement on the ruling, many Nigerians and banks across the country have been rejecting the old notes, prompting different governments threatening sanctions against such individuals and businesses.

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