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Ex-Nigerian Central Bank Governor Faces Currency Charges

FORMER governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been charged with allegations of unauthorised currency printing and irregular withdrawals amounting to billions of naira, adding to his ongoing legal woes.

Emefiele, who is already embroiled in a separate fraud trial, appeared in an Abuja court on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to the new charges. Despite the plea, he was released on bail pending further proceedings.


According to state prosecutors, Emefiele is accused of ordering the printing of new 1,000, 500, and 200 naira banknotes between October 2022 and March 2023 without the requisite approval from the president and the Central Bank of Nigeria board. This action, purportedly intended to reduce cash usage in the economy, instead led to disruptions in businesses and hardships for citizens during the lead-up to last year’s presidential election, ultimately won by Bola Tinubu.

The circulation of both new and old bills has further compounded the economic challenges faced by Nigeria.

In addition to the currency printing charges, Emefiele stands accused of approving the withdrawal of 125 billion naira ($82.24 million) from a government fund, contravening regulations outlined by the national assembly.

These developments mark Emefiele as one of the highest-profile officials to be implicated in corruption allegations during Tinubu’s administration, underscoring the ongoing efforts to combat financial malfeasance and uphold transparency within Nigeria’s governance framework.

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