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Naira Scarcity: Falana Asks FG To Prosecute Emefiele, CBN Management

 

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Federal Government to prosecute the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, and the management of the apex bank over the cash crunch in the country early this year. 

In a Sunday statement, he claimed that Emefiele and the CBN lied to Nigerians over the availability of cash owing to the redesign of the nation’s currency.

“Having misled Nigerians to believe that sufficient cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion mopped up from customers, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire management of the CBN ought to be prosecuted for incitement and culpable homicide,” he said.

Falana also wants the CBN to rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed by angry customers in the aftermath of the cash crunch occasioned by the redesign policy and also for the apex bank to compensate the families of those who were killed due to the incitement of the public.

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“In addition, the CBN should rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed and pay compensation to the families of those who were killed as a result of the incitement of members of the public,” Falana added.

Please, find below the full statement from Femi Falana & the letter from CBN to the law firm on the cash disbursements made:

CBN MOPPED UP N3.5 TRILLION BUT DISBURSED N402 BILLION ONLY

In January 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria claimed that it had supplied the commercial banks in the country with enough cash in line with its currency design policy. The apex bank purportedly directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute bank officials who were accused of sabotaging the new currency policy. Based on the statement, Nigerians trooped to the banks to collect cash. As the cash was insufficient, customers became angry.

The mass anger over the cash crunch provoked customers who burnt bank buildings and destroyed Automated Teller Machines in some states. The violence, paralysed social and economic activities, and claimed not less than five lives while many others were injured. But for the Supreme Court, which extended the deadline for the withdrawal of the old Naira notes up until December 31, 2023, the cash crunch would have made life more unbearable for the Nigerian people.

Convinced that the suspended governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Emefiele had lied and deceived the Nigerian people, we requested information about the actual amount made available to each of the commercial banks. In its belated response to our request, the CBN has now confirmed that it issued redesigned currency notes of N402 billion to the banks.

Having misled Nigerians to believe that sufficient cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion mopped up from customers, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire management of the CBN ought to be prosecuted for incitement and culpable homicide. In addition, the CBN should rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed and pay compensation to the families of those who were killed as a result of the incitement of members of the public.

 

Femi Falana SAN

Ignatius Igwe

An energetic journalist with an amazing sense of responsibility.

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