EFCC files charges against Emefiele for printing naira notes with N124.86bn without NASS approval

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has leveled fresh accusations against Godwin Emefiele, the ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The charges suggest that Emefiele sanctioned the production of naira notes amounting to N124.86bn without the consent of the National Assembly.

Emefiele is set to appear in court on Wednesday before Judge Maryann Anenih at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court. This adds to the growing list of legal issues he has encountered during his time at the CBN. The EFCC alleges that Emefiele greenlit the production of naira notes without securing the necessary approvals from ex-President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN board. The anti-corruption agency also asserts that his actions resulted in public harm.

The charge sheet states, “Emefiele, between October 19, 2022, and March 5, 2023, in Abuja, knowingly violated Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007, by sanctioning 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 CBN Board and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. This conduct caused injury to the public and is therefore an offence.”

Similar charges include the unauthorized printing of N500 and N200 notes and the withdrawal of N124.8bn from the consolidated revenue fund in a manner not prescribed by the National Assembly.

On October 26, 2022, Emefiele announced the redesign of Nigeria’s highest denomination banknotes to control the money supply and aid security agencies in combating illicit financial flows. The redesigned notes were to become effective from mid-December 2022, with the old notes ceasing to be legal tender by January 31, 2023. However, the policy led to a scarcity of old notes, triggering violent protests and attacks on banks and ATMs nationwide.

While President Buhari publicly endorsed the policy, it was criticized by analysts who perceived it as politically motivated. Emefiele is currently entangled in several legal disputes over his tenure as the CBN governor. In November 2023, he was arraigned before Judge Hamza Muazu of the FCT high court on a six-count charge.

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