EFCC to arraign Emefiele for printing naira notes without ‘strict approval’



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a fresh four-count charge against Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

The anti-graft agency is accusing Emefiele of “illegal” printing of naira notes in its fresh charge.

 

Emefiele is expected to be arraigned before Maryann Anenih, a judge at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, on Wednesday.

 

In the charge sheet, EFCC alleges that Emefiele “disobeyed the direction of law with intent to cause injury to the public” by approving the printing of naira notes without “strict approval” from former President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN board.

 

The anti-graft agency also accused Emefiele of approving the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the consolidated revenue fund “in a manner not prescribed by the national assembly”.

 

“That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of N375,520,000.00 pieces of colour swapped N1, 000, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence,” the charge sheet reads.

 

“That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, between the 19th of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 172,000,000 pieces of colour swapped N500 (Five Hundred Naira) Notes, at the total cost of N4, 471,066,040 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

 

 “That you GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE between the 19th day of October 2022 and 5th March 2023 in Abuja, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by approving the printing of 137,070,000 pieces of colour swapped N200 (Two Hundred Naira) Note, at the total cost of N3, 441, 005, 280 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.

 

“That you, GODWIN IFEANYI EMEFIELE, on or about the 7th day of October 2020, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, knowingly disobeyed the direction of Section 80 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), by approving the withdrawal of the total sum of N124, 860, 227, 865.16 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly, which conduct of yours caused injury to the public and you thereby committed an offence.”

 

NAIRA REDESIGN CONTROVERSY

On October 26, 2022, Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the highest denominations of the country’s currency to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.

 

Emefiele had said the new notes (N200, N500, and N1000) would be effective from mid-December 2022, advising customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.

 

The scarcity of old naira notes sparked violent protests in many parts of the country as banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) were torched.

 

Many analysts had argued that the naira redesign policy was politically motivated.

 

On numerous occasions, Buhari expressed approval for the naira redesign policy.

 

In November 2023, Buhari explained why he approved the naira redesign policy.

 

MULTIPLE TRIALS

 

Emefiele is currently facing multiple trials over his management of public funds and decisions taken while he was governor of the apex bank.

 

In November 2023, Emefiele was arraigned before Hamza Muazu, a judge at the FCT high court, on a six-count charge bordering on alleged criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to commit forgery, procurement fraud, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

 

The charge which was formerly six counts, had been increased to 20 counts.

 

The former CBN governor pleaded not guilty.

 

In April, EFCC arraigned Emefiele at the Lagos high court on a 26-count charge bordering on abuse of office. He also pleaded not guilty.

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