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EFCC commends Nigerians, says naira abuse reducing

Ola Olukoyede, chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commended Nigerians for treating the naira a lot better these days. 

The EFCC has stepped up its campaign against abuse of the naira since the turn of the year.

Recently, the agency secured the conviction and imprisonment of Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, for abusing the naira.

In April, Cubana Chief Priest, a socialite and nightlife promoter, was similarly arraigned for abusing the naira.

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Speaking on EFCC radio in Abuja on Monday, Olukoyede, who was represented by Dele Oyewale, spokesperson of the agency, said the commission is working to ensure that extant laws are obeyed.

The EFCC chair said the naira is the country’s symbol and all hands should be on deck to safeguard it.

“If you go to parties, nobody is abusing the naira as it used to be because people know that it is no longer business as usual, people are now paying attention to what they have taken for granted, they now study the law of the land,” Oyewale said.

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“So, we should applaud the courage of the executive chairman for choosing to restore the sanctity of our identity.

“We are carrying out this mandate by ensuring that laws that are already in place are duly obeyed and it takes courage to do this because attacks are coming left, right and centre.

“You can see that we are ahead, people are beginning to come to terms with the laws. Right now, we have got close to 50 convictions in this regard.”

Asked about what law backed the commission to prosecute anyone who abuses the naira, Olukoyede said section 7 (2) of the EFCC law empowers it to coordinate and enforce all laws regarding economic and financial crimes.

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“Section 21 of the CBN Act also forbids currency abuse and the Central Bank of Nigeria has come out to advise Nigerians against the stapling, counterfeiting, selling, buying, spraying, writing, tearing, and mutilation of the naira note,” he said.

“In fact, even if you reject the naira, it is a crime and the likely penalty is stated in the CBN act: an imprisonment of nothing less than six months or a fine of N50,000 or both. So, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”

The EFCC chair added that the agency is enlightening the public about these laws.

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