Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Emefiele printed naira notes different from design approved by Buhari- Says witness

Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has been accused of printing naira notes different from the design approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

A former director of currency operations at the apex bank, Ahmed Umar testified before a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja on Tuesday.

Umar said the CBN Act requires that recommendations be made from the board of directors to the president for approval on the form of design and device in any currency.

The witness told the court that the features in the design approved by Buhari differed from the one Emefiele ordered to be printed.

“The design approved by the president had a QR code, which the currency in circulation does not. The positioning of the portrait was on the right side, that printed by the CBN was on the left and the number scheme approved by the president is different from what the CBN produced,” Umar said.

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Under cross-examination by Mahmoud Magaji, counsel to Emefiele, the witness admitted that the former president approved the naira redesign project.

He also admitted that Buhari on December 29, 2023, publicly launched the re-designed naira currency for the use of Nigerians as legal tender.

The witness also admitted that the re-designed currency has his (Umar) signature as director of currency operations, adding that no naira note becomes legal tender without his signature.

The former CBN governor was arraigned on May 15 before Maryann Anenih, the presiding judge, on a four-count charge.

He pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

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The anti-graft agency accused Emefiele of “illegal” printing of naira notes.

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 the former president and the CBN board.

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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”.

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