Falana Seeks Prosecution Of Emefiele, Others Over Cash Crunch

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Nigeria’s renowned activist-lawyer, Femi Falana, has called for prosecution of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the bank’s management for alleged incitement and culpable homicide over cash crunch that occurred during the implementation of the Naira Redesign policy earlier this year.

Falana’s call for justice comes in the wake of the devastating fallout from the scarcity of new naira notes, which led to widespread anger and destruction across the nation.

Speaking directly to the issue, Falana stated, “The CBN, under Emefiele’s watch, misled Nigerians to believe that sufficient cash was distributed to commercial banks to replace the sum of N3.5 trillion mopped up from customers.”

He continued, “Because I am convinced that the suspended governor had lied and deceived Nigerians, we requested information about the actual amount made available to each of the commercial banks.”

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According to him, the CBN’s response confirmed that they had issued redesigned currency notes totaling only N402 billion to the banks.

Falana pointed out that the CBN’s earlier claims of supplying adequate cash in line with its currency redesign policy had sparked a frenzy among Nigerians, who flocked to banks to collect cash.

The insufficient cash distribution, coupled with customer anger, culminated in the burning of bank buildings and the destruction of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in several states.

“The violence paralyzed social and economic activities, claiming not less than five lives, with many others injured,” Falana lamented, clearly exasperated by the consequences of the alleged deception.

He also emphasized the importance of compensating the families of those who lost their lives due to the alleged incitement of the public.

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Falana’s demand for justice doesn’t stop at prosecution as he also proposed that the apex bank should undertake the daunting task of rebuilding the banks’ buildings destroyed during the chaos. He argued that it was essential to restore normalcy and compensate for the damages incurred.

Had it not been for the Supreme Court’s extension of the deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes until December 31, 2023, Falana believes that the cash crunch would have made life even more unbearable for the Nigerian people.

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