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Emefiele Accused of Disregarding Approved Currency Designs, Imposing Personal Preference

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been accused of disregarding the approved designs for the new currency notes and instead printing his preferred designs.

The claim was made by Ahmed Umar, a former director of currency operations at the CBN while testifying in a court case against Emefiele.

According to Umar, the design elements approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari differed significantly from the design that Emefiele ultimately ordered to be printed.

Umar said: “The design approved by the President had a QR code, which the currency in circulation does not. The positioning of the portrait was on the right side, that printed by the CBN was on the left and the number scheme approved by the President is different from what the CBN produced.”

Emefiele is currently facing two separate criminal charges, including one for approving the printing of N684.5 million notes at an alleged cost of N18.96 billion.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed charges against him for unlawfully approving the withdrawal of N124.8 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, in violation of the CBN Act and the Penal Code Law.

The charges allege that Emefiele willfully disobeyed the law, causing harm to the public during the implementation of the naira swap policy under the Buhari administration. Emefiele has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the amount of N300 million.

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