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Falana advises FG to bring charges against Emefiele and CBN management for the shortage of naira.



Falana demanded that the CBN’s management and Emefiele be brought to justice for their roles in the redesign of the naira.

Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights attorney, has urged the Federal Government to bring legal action against the CBN’s management and suspended Governor Godwin Emefiele in connection with the failed naira swap strategy.

Due to the faulty handling of the introduction of the redesigned notes and the new cash policy by the apex bank, many Nigerians were forced to endure an agonising experience early in the year.

As irate consumers stormed bank halls, forcing bank staff to flee for their lives, the scenario caused pockets of instability in various regions of the nation. In the process, some Nigerians paid the ultimate price, while angry citizens demolished bank premises.

Now, Falana said that Emefiele and the CBN misled Nigerians about the availability of money during the turbulent era in a statement on Sunday, September 17, 2023.

“Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire management of the CBN ought to be punished for incitement and culpable homicide,” the statement partially read. “They have misled Nigerians into believing that adequate cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion vacuumed up from consumers.

Falana also urged that the CBN pay for the reconstruction of the bank premises that were destroyed during the crisis and that it provide restitution to the families of those who lost loved ones as a result of public incitement.

Falana continued, “The CBN should also rebuild the bank buildings that were destroyed and give compensation to the families of those who died as a result of public incitement.”

Read the complete statement from Falana below;

CBN collected N3.5 trillion, but only distributed N402 billion.

In accordance with its currency design strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria asserted in January 2023 that it had provided adequate cash to the nation’s commercial banks. According to reports, the top bank instructed security agents to detain and prosecute bank employees who were suspected of undermining the new currency policy. Nigerians flocked to the banks to withdraw money in response to the statement. Customers grew irate because there was not enough money on hand.

Customers were so outraged by the cash shortage that they set fire to bank structures and destroyed ATMs in certain locations. At least five people died as a result of the violence, which also severely injured many others and halted social and economic operations. Without the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the withdrawal deadline for the old Naira notes until December 31, 2023, the cash constraint would have made life even more difficult for Nigerians.

We asked for information on the actual amount given to each of the commercial banks because we were convinced that Mr. Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank, had lied and misled the Nigerian people. In its tardy reply to our inquiry, The CBN has finally acknowledged that it sent the banks N402 billion in newly designed currency notes.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the entire CBN administration should face charges for inciting and culpable homicide because they deceived Nigerians into thinking that the N3.5 trillion scooped up from customers had been replaced by enough cash supplied to commercial banks. The CBN should also compensate the relatives of those died as a result of public provocation and repair any destroyed bank structures that were destroyed.

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