CBN accuses banks of hoarding N4.5bn redesigned naira notes – Newstrends
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CBN accuses banks of hoarding N4.5bn redesigned naira notes

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused some commercial banks in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, of refusing to dispense the sum of N4.5 billion redesigned notes distributed to them.

 The controller of the Rivers State branch of the apex bank, Maxwell Okafor, who led an enforcement team on the newly redesigned notes to some commercial banks and markets in Port Harcourt, said that between Thursday and Friday, the apex bank had disbursed about N4.5b new notes to commercial banks in the state and wondered why many customers were not getting them.

He expressed worry that some banks in Port Harcourt were frustrating the efforts of the CBN in implementing the disbursement of the new naira notes by hoarding it in their vaults.

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“We have been monitoring the dispensing of the new naira note and the impression we had is not encouraging. We have visited some banks and one of them was not dispensing the new naira notes. Their ATM machines were not functioning, even as early as the time we came. We had it on good authority that the bank received money from the CBN. Some of these banks received money yesterday and the money is still in their vaults.

“In some of the banks, their ATMs are down. There is no explanation for their actions. The CBN has warned that there would be serious consequences for hoarding these new naira notes and giving it to special customers. 

“We stopped dispensing old currencies since the new ones came out. There is no reason why the ATMs should not dispense money; and the money they collected is in their vaults. There is pressure from these banks to collect more money, so what did they do with the ones they collected? What did they do with the N2 .5bn and N2bn they collected? 

“We are going to escalate this matter and consult with the management on the next line of action,” he said.

The CBN Director of Strategy, Emenike Chimele, also said there was no doubt that some banks were trying to frustrate what the apex bank is doing.

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BREAKING: EFCC operatives storm ex-Gov Yahaya Bello’s Abuja residence over N84bn fraud case

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BREAKING: EFCC operatives storm ex-Gov Yahaya Bello’s Abuja residence over N84bn fraud case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has barricaded the house of Yahaya Bello, the immediate former governor of Kogi State, in Wuse, Abuja.

According to SaharaReporters, the EFCC siege is coming days after the former governor held a meeting with President Bola Tinubu, at the State House.

It was gathered that there is currently no movement in and around the house located at Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4 in the nation’s federal capital.

On Wednesday, a top source shared the photograph showing how operatives of the EFCC barricaded the access road to the Bello’s house.

The source said: “EFCC barricades Bello’ house in Abuja. No movement in the area as EFCC barricaded the house. They are yet to gain access.”

Although there was no immediate information available to the reason while the anti-graft agency stormed the former governor’s residence, it may be connected with the N84 billion fraud case against him which the EFCC is prosecuting.

The EFCC had charged the former governor with financial fraud to the tune of N84 billion.

The anti-graft commission in an amended charge, accused Bello of diverting N80 billion of state funds in September 2015, four months before he assumed office.

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Recall that the EFCC had arraigned Bello’s nephew, Ali Bello, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, for alleged money laundering to the tune of N10 billion belonging to the State government.

The State Government faulted the charge describing it as “ridiculous” and “laughable”, argued that it is impossible, as the former governor was not yet in a position to access or misappropriate state funds at said time.

The state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, had on February 7, 2024, accused the EFCC of being “infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of ‘Mr. President’ to defeat corruption in Nigeria.”

Recall that the EFCC had dragged former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja for alleged N84 billion money laundering.

EFCC, which joined Bello’s nephew Ali Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and Abdulsalam Hudu as co-accused, had said it is prosecuting them on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of fund to tune of N84, 062,406,089.88.

The anti-graft agency had claimed in the amended charge that former governor Bello is still at large.

Count one of the charges reads: “That you, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, Yahaya Adoza Bello (still at large) and Abdulsalam Hudu (still at large), sometime in September, 2015 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty-nine Naira, Eighty-eight Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(b) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended,” the EFCC said.

“While ex-Governor Yahaya Bello and Hudu are still at large, Ali Bello and Suleiman, first and second defendants respectively, who were present in court “pleaded not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to them.

BREAKING: EFCC operatives storm ex-Gov Yahaya Bello’s Abuja residence over N84bn fraud case

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EFCC has no powers to prosecute people over naira abuse – Odinkalu

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National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu

EFCC has no powers to prosecute people over naira abuse – Odinkalu

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has argued that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks the powers to prosecute naira abuse.

He had criticised the commission for arresting crossdresser Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju (alias Bobrisky), who was convicted and jailed for six months for the offence.

To the professor of law, spraying of the naira does not fall within the commission’s prosecutorial purview.

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Odinkalu stated: “The law that establishes the EFCC defines ‘economic and financial crimes’ to mean ‘non-violent criminal and illicit activity committed with the objectives of earning wealth illegally either individually or in a group or organised manner thereby violating existing legislation governing the economic activities of government and its administration.’ “

Socialite and barman Pascal Chibuike Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, is set to challenge the charge filed against him by the EFCC, having pleaded not guilty.

He was arraigned on Wednesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos and granted N10million bail.

EFCC has no powers to prosecute people over naira abuse – Odinkalu

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Stop Wike from using PDP for relevance, Secondus tells party leaders

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Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike

Stop Wike from using PDP for relevance, Secondus tells party leaders

Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday, former national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, has asked party leaders to stop the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, from continuous use of the party to remain relevant in President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Wike, who claims to be a member of the PDP, is serving in the cabinet of the Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress (APC)  government.

Secondus, in a statement by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024,  urged the leaders to prove that no individual is bigger than the party by dealing with the FCT minister who he said is already drowning politically.

The PDP is scheduled to hold its 98th NEC meeting on Thursday, in Abuja.

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The former PDP Chairman urged them to do everything humanly possible and within the law to rescue and restore the party’s glory, adding that the immediate past Rivers State governor is trying hard to create a non-existent crisis in the party to make himself relevant before his boss, President Tinubu.

He stated, “By deviously trying to create the impression that he is in a tussle of supremacy with the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the party and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Wike, who is copiously losing political relevance everywhere from Rivers to Abuja, is trying to give the impression that he is a factor in PDP and holding it for his APC interest.

“The critical structures of this party, NEC, BOT, National Caucus, forum of Governors, Chairmen of states and National Assembly caucus of the party must rise to the challenge and isolate mischief makers and meddlers like Wike and move the party forward.

“I expect the founding fathers and other dedicated members to rise to the challenge and return this great party to its glory by ensuring, as they always do at critical moments, that nobody or group is greater or bigger than this party,” he said.

Stop Wike from using PDP for relevance, Secondus tells party leaders

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