The CBN has been dragged to court for using the name “eNaira” for Nigeria’s first digital currency.
A company, ENaira Payment Solutions Limited has dragged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before a federal high court for willfully infringing on its trademark “eNaira.”
KanyiDaily recalls that the CBN had announced that it will launch the country’s first digital currency (eNaira) by October 1, 2021, and floated its official website, www.enaira.com, on Monday.
A statement on the website said the eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that will ensure easier financial transactions for users of eNaira.
It offers the opportunity for peer-to-peer payments which allow users to send money to one another through a linked bank account or card.
Why CBN Was Sued For Using The Name ‘ENaira’
ENaira Payment Solutions Limited, through its lawyers, accused the CBN of trademark infringement, saying that the launch of the eNaira is a threat and shows willful infringement of its trademark.
“We are Solicitors to ENAIRA PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED (RC 508500) which was incorporated on the 7th of April, 2004. Our client is and remains a valid and existing legal entity having complied with the statutory requirements as regards the filing of its annual returns and the payment of company income tax,” the document read.
“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.
“For this reason, our client has approached the federal high court in suit No. FHC/AB/CS/113/2021 between ENaira Rayment Solutions Limited v Central Bank of Nigeria to seek restraining orders, including an order to restrain the CBN from proceeding with the proposed launching on the 1st of October 2021.
“The CBN is hereby put on notice of the pendency of this suit and advised not to resort to self-help or present the honourable court with a fait accompli by proceeding with the proposed launching pending the hearing and determination of this suit.
“In the interim, the CBN is hereby warned to cease and desist from using or purporting to use the name “eNaira” for its product or in any way, form or manner infringing or threatening to infringe on our client’s Trademark or violating our client’s corporate name.”
The launch of the eNaira comes a few months after the CBN banned the use of cryptocurrencies and directed banks to close all accounts belonging to crypto exchanges in Nigeria.