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Buhari Did Not Approve Emefiele’s Naira Redesign Policy, Tinubu’s Investigator Reveals


Buhari Did Not Approve Emefiele’s Naira Redesign Policy, Tinubu’s Investigator Reveals

The Special Investigator on the CBN and Related Entities, Jim Obaze has revealed that former president Muhammadu Buhari did not approve the Naira redesign policy introduced by the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had named Obaze, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as the CBN special investigator some months back.

According to Punch, Obaze on Wednesday submitted his final report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable offences) to Tinubu.

The documents indicate that the former Apex Bank governor might face fresh criminal charges over the handling of the CBN naira redesign policy.

Emefiele could be prosecuted for illegal issuance of currency under section 19 of the CBN Act alongside Tunde Sabiu, a former aide to former President Muhammadu Buhari, and 12 top directors of the CBN.

The report revealed that the naira redesign policy was sold to Buhari at the instance of Sabiu and that the initiative was done without the approval of the board of the CBN.

The investigator found that Buhari didn’t approve of the naira redesign. It was Tunde Sabiu who first told Emefiele in September 2022 to consider the redesign of the naira. On October 6, 2022, Emefiele wrote to Buhari that he wanted to redesign and reconfigure N1000, N500 and N200 notes.

“The former President tagged along but did not approve the redesign as required by law. Buhari merely approved that the currency be printed in Nigeria. The redesign was only mentioned to the board of the CBN on December 15, 2022, after Emefiele had awarded the contract to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc on October 31, 2022,’’ the documents noted.

Emefiele was said to have contracted the redesign of the naira to De La Rue of the UK for £205, 000 pounds under the vote head of the Currency Operations Department after the NSPM said it could not deliver the contract within a short timeframe.

The special investigator found that N61.5bn was earmarked for the printing of the new notes out of which N31.79bn had been paid.

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