The Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has warned that the government would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute traders and service providers who reject the old N500 and N1000 denominations.
Recall that the old denominations are now legal tender in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court, which extended its validity till December 31, 2023.
In a statement on Saturday, by Oyebanji’s special adviser on media, Yinka Oyebode, the governor charged all business operators in the State to remain law abiding.
The governor also in the statement titled, “Oyebanji urges Ekiti residents to accept old naira notes,” urged banks to make the naira notes available in all their branches and pay points, to all traders, business owners, service providers, okada riders, drivers, filling stations, gas plants, supermarkets, schools and hospitals.
“To do otherwise would amount to defying the ruling of the highest court in the country and thwarting government efforts at reducing the hardship of the people,” he said.
Just as the government disclosed it will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes, the governor reiterated that it is unlawful for any business owner or service provider to reject them.
Oyebanji however expressed concern over complaints that many business concerns in the State refused to accept the old naira notes as means of transaction.
“This is an appeal to all residents of Ekiti State to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court, which provides a reprieve for the people by extending the validity date of the old naira notes till December 31.
“As honourable people, what is expected of us is to abide by the ruling of the apex court and continue to accept the old naira notes as means of transaction and not to inflict further hardship on one another by rejecting it.
“Government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes,” the statement quoted Oyebanji as saying.
The Ekiti government had joined other states to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court in reversing the new naira policy, which the states averred had inflicted excruciating pain and hardship on the people in addition to crippling economic activities.
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