A popular anonymous account on Twitter, now retired, had these words written on their bio: “This is Nigeria, anything you see you just have to take it like that.” Every passing day in Nigeria reinforces this quip.

The latest news is the Supreme Court has adjourned hearing on the status of the old and new naira notes. The case is a joint suit filed by ten states against the federal government. Today, February 15, 2023, was supposed to be the moment of truth after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the deadline to turn in the old naira notes was February 10. 

Instead, we’re back in limbo again. It’s aluta continua as the Supreme Court has adjourned the case to February 22, 2023. As it stands, we live to fight/die another day. 

So what happened?

According to Channels, the Supreme Court was filled with governors of Kaduna and Kogi, Nasir El-Rufai and Yahaya Bello, in attendance, along with other senior advocates of Nigeria. 

Zamfara, Kogi and Kaduna filed the original suit against the FG. Other states joined in, including Niger, Kano, Ondo, Bayelsa, Edo, Lagos and Ekiti. You know it’s a serious matter when you can get El-Rufai away from campaign duties to be seated in court.  

[Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State (left) and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State (right) at the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Credit: Ameh Ejekwonyilo]

Justice John Okoro led the seven-person panel. He said Nigerians shouldn’t “lose sight of the case and its intention as it affects the suffering of Nigerians” before adjourning the matter. This has left us hanging with regards to when, or if, our suffering would end.

In an earlier article, we asked if the Supreme Court could force the CBN to postpone its deadline. This adjournment shows the Supreme Court can do more than that. It can delay a ruling required to make the CBN postpone its deadline. A powerful reminder that it’s the Supreme Court’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

What could this mean for Nigerians?

Without mincing words, an adjournment of the ruling till February 22 — just three days shy of the general election, is ominous. 

The current Naira scarcity is affecting trading, creating hardship, and causing protests across cities like Ibadan

, Abeokuta, and Benin. It’s difficult to predict how this may force an election postponement or encourage low voter turnout on election day.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already debunked rumours that the election will be postponed and insists it’ll proceed as planned. 

For others, it’s uncertainty in financial transactions as people do not know if old notes are legal tender across the board until the Supreme Court gives a verdict.

Once again, we wait to see how things play out. But as you do, don’t forget those poignant words from earlier, “this is Nigeria, anything you see you just have to take it like that.”

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