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It’s Nigeria’s Executive vs its Judiciary

Nigeria’s government is challenging a Supreme Court order that suspended Friday’s deadline for the phaseout of old currency notes, saying it lacks jurisdiction. The issue of when the old currency becomes invalid has turned into a significant issue as Nigeria prepares for elections a little more than two weeks away. On Wednesday, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by three Nigerian state governors to stop the central bank from phasing out the old notes by this Friday, February 10. Nigeria’s attorney general, Abubakar Malami, challenged the Supreme Court’s ruling in a countersuit filed by his legal team late Wednesday and called for the ruling to be dismissed. Critics say the governors and other politicians who support the Supreme Court are doing so in order to enable vote-buying with the old currency ahead of the February 25 polls. Authorities say the new currency is paying off in fighting crime and counterfeiting and reducing excess cash in circulation. This week, the International Monetary Fund urged Nigerian authorities to extend the currency swap deadline.