Trouble looms in APC as CSOs drags Edo Gov’ship candidate to EFCC over Naira abuse

Sen. Monday Okpebholo (APC)

Trouble looms in APC as CSOs drags Edo Gov’ship candidate to EFCC over Naira abuse

By George Etakibuebu

A coalition of civil societies under the aegis of Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, has dragged Senator Monday Okpebholo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

In a petition dated 2nd May, 2024 and addressed to the chairman of the anti-graft agency with the title: Naira Abuse And Mutilation: Petition Against Senator Monday Okpebholo, the civil societies averred that the “Naira is the official currency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria which is the institution of Government that regulates the use and values of our currency the Naira, has a law that make naira abuse and mutilation an offense punishable by law.

“For avoidance of doubt, Section 21 (3) of the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007

(as Amended) stipulates that spraying of, dancing or matching on the naira or any note issued by the bank during social occasion or other howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”

The coalition stated that “It is unfortunate that this section of the CBN Act has been violated by both the high and the mighty in the society including some law makers themselves. Kudos to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) an anti -graft and law enforcement agency of Government for their swift action of defending and protecting the Naira by arresting and charging some notable individuals to Court for Naira abuse offense of spraying Naira, matching and defacing the Naira in a social event based on an obvious and undeniable viral video.”

The coalition gave the example of two socialites who were recently taken up by the EFCC as Mr. Okuneye Idris Olarewaju, aka Bobrisky, who is currently serving a six months jail term for this crime. The second being Mr. Pascal Okechukwu, (popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest) who was arraigned before Justice Kehinde Ogundare on three counts bordering on abuse of Naira by allegedly spraying and tampering with the nation’s currency at a social event.

While commending the EFCC for the action which the coalition say was a courageous display of patriotism, it demanded that every other individual whose viral videos were also captured abusing the naira at social event and other places should be arrested immediately and be made to face the full wrath of the law as nobody is above the law.

 

The coalition then called on the EFCC and other law enforcement agents to “consider, investigate and do the needful on the viral video of Senator Monday Okebholo, abusing and mutilating the Naira, a senator of the Federal Republic from Edo State.”

Signed by National Coordinator, Comrade Victor Kalu and National Secretary, Alh. Ali Abatcha the petitioners threatened that “If nothing is done with respect to the viral video of Senator Monday Okebholo abusing the naira, we shall carry out the following actions: Mobilize our teaming members, supporters and lovers of democracy for a peaceful protest against the EFCC for their selective action, display of bias, and demand for a public apology for Bobrisky and Cubana Chief Priest.

“Institute a legal action against the EFCC for their negligence of duty in the face of obvious undeniable evidence. Demand for a legal and Judicial interpretation of Section 21 (3) of the CBN Act 2007 (As Amended) as it relate to (our undeniable evidence) the video of Senator Monday Okebholo abusing and defacing the Naira.

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“Sir, for avoidance of doubt or search for the viral video as quoted, find enclosed the said video for your consideration. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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