The Governor Yahaya Bello led Kogi State Government has ordered the arrest of residents who are rejecting the old N500 and N1,000 naira notes.
In a statement on Friday, Kingsley Fanwo, the State Commissioner of Information, said the old naira currency remains a legal tender, warning that residents found rejecting it should be punished according to the law.
The statement reads, “We congratulate Nigerians on the historic ruling of the Supreme Court, the highest court in Nigeria, to the effect that both the old and new naira notes remain legal tenders until December 31, 2023, when the old notes will cease to be legal tender. What this means is that both the old and new naira notes can be accepted for the purpose of transacting business till the end of this year.
“The reason the Kogi State Government joined other State Governments in the country to pursue the case was to ease the hardship occasioned by the unavailability of the new naira notes, which the court fully granted.
“It is therefore unacceptable that some persons and businesses will continue to reject the use of the old naira notes, even after the court judgement validating their use. Rejecting the old naira notes is a clear disobedience of the Supreme Court ruling.
“Anyone who rejects the old naira notes should be reported to security and government authorities for immediate action. Also, banks that refuse to accept old naira deposits shall be sealed as the State Government will not accommodate financial institutions that willfully disobey court orders, moreso, the orders of the highest court in Nigeria.
“Kogites should note that since the banks are issuing the old naira notes, they are bound to also receive them. We cannot continue to kill our economy after the Supreme Court has granted us freedom. The State Government has therefore set up a high-powered Committee to ensure full adherence and compliance to the ruling of the Supreme Court.
“Members of the Committee are the Commissioner for Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning; Commissioner for Information and Communications; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry; the State Security Adviser, and the Managing Director, Kogi Enterprise Development Agency. The Committee is to ensure that our people take full benefits of the Supreme Court ruling on the old naira notes and ease the hardship they have been subjected to by the policy that brought so much hardship to the people.”
*(Adapted from a report by Tribune)