Court Okays Launch of eNaira by CBN, Despite Lawsuit by ENaira Payment Solutions
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday gave the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the nod to launch its eNaira, even though a patent right suit over the brand remains pending before the same court.
Olakunle Agbebi & Co, solicitors to ENaira Payment Solutions, had insisted that the trade name, ENaira, was incorporated on April 7, 2004, and it remained a valid and existing legal entity has complied with the statutory requirements as regards the filing of its annual returns and the payment of company income tax since then.
The law firm said “Our client is the holder of the Trademark ‘ENaira’ registered in Class 36 and Class 42. It has come to our client’s notice that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the planning launching of a financial under what it termed its Central Bank Digital Currency to be known as ‘eNaira’.
“This action amounts to a threat to willfully infringe on our client’s trademark. It will also amount to a violation of its corporate name i.e. ENaira Payment Solutions Ltd. The ramifications of this illegal act of the CBN are extensive.
“Importantly, the potential this has to deceive the general public into believing that this product emanated from our client’s company is real and the consequences for our client are grave. The potential to expose our client to all manner of damage, loss of business and loss of goodwill is also very real.”
At the hearing on Thursday defendant’s counsel, D. D. Dodo (SAN) urged the court to strike out the plaintiff’s motion seeking to restrain the launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC), otherwise known as eNaira, considering its significance to the national economy.
The court, presided by Justice Taiwo Abayomi Taiwo. was not disposed to striking out the motion but held that the launch of the digital currency could go ahead in the interest of the country, especially as the plaintiff could be adequately compensated.
The matter was adjourned to October 11, 2021, for further hearing.
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