Emefiele Didn’t Get Approval Before Spending N18.9billion On Naira Redesign – Retired Director, Umar Tells Court

Emefiele, Buhari

Umar mentioned this while he was giving his testimony in the ongoing trial of the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday.

A former Director of Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Umar, has told the court that the naira redesign embarked upon by former CBN, Godwin Emefiele, in late 2022 did not have the approval of the Committee of Governors.

Umar mentioned this while he was giving his testimony in the ongoing trial of the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday.

SaharaReporters had reported how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on May 15 charged Emefiele before Justice Maryanne Anenih of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on charges bordering on alleged unlawful redesign and printing of the new naira notes.

The anti-graft agency accused Emefiele, in the charge marked CR/264/2024, of carrying out the naira redesign policy without the approval of the CBN Board and former president, Muhammadu Buhari.

The anti-graft agency said without the approval of the CBN Board and Buhari, Emefiele spent N18.96billion for the printing and swapping of new naira notes worth N684.5million.

It alleged that Emefiele, “knowingly disobeying the direction of Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007” approved “the printing of N375,520,000 pieces of colour swapped N1,000 notes, at the total cost of N11,052, 068,062 without the recommendation of the Board of Central Bank and the strict approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, among other things.”

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At the trial opening on Tuesday, the EFCC fielded ex-CBN Director of Operations, Umar, as its first witness.

Umar told the court that in 2022, his department was asked to create a new design for the naira while being led in testimony by EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN).

He said, “The management of CBN directed my department to come up with a memo on the design of the naira note sometime in August 2022.

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