Emefiele: Court admits Buhari’s approval for Naira redesign as evidence in trial

By Innocent Raphael

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Tuesday admitted as evidence the approval of former President Muhammadu Buhari for the redesign of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira.

This approval, dated October 6, 2022, was conveyed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under then-Governor Godwin Emefiele.

The approval letter, signed by Buhari and transmitted by his Chief of Staff, was part of the documents tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC presented these documents through their witness, Mr. Ahmed Bello Umar, the former Director of Currency Operations at the CBN. The tendered documents included samples of the redesigned currency as approved by Buhari.

During the proceedings, Umar, led in evidence by EFCC’s lead counsel Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), disclosed that Emefiele deviated from Buhari’s approved design.

Umar highlighted differences such as the placement of portraits and the omission of QR codes in the printed currency, which were present in the approved samples.

Under cross-examination by Emefiele’s counsel, Mahmoud Magaji (SAN), Umar confirmed that Buhari had indeed approved the redesign project and publicly launched the new currency on December 29, 2023.

He also acknowledged that the redesigned currency bore his signature, a requisite for it to become legal tender.

Emefiele was arraigned by the EFCC on May 15, 2024, on a four-count charge before Justice Maryanne Anenih. The charges included allegations of embarking on the Naira redesign without the approval of the CBN Board and strict presidential consent, and causing injury to the public.

Specifically, Emefiele was accused of approving the printing of various quantities of new Naira notes at significant costs without proper authorization.

Emefiele denied the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N300 million. The trial continues as the court examines the discrepancies between the approved and printed designs of the Naira and the procedural adherence to the redesign project.

Back to top button