NAIRA SCARCITY: IGP orders arrest, prosecution of sellers, abusers of new Naira notes

The Nigeria Police has ordered for the arrest and prosecution of people found selling or abusing the new Naira notes across the country.

The Inspector General of Police, Usman Allkali Baba, gave the order in a statement issued by the force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Friday.

Adejobi said the development was to uphold the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007 and ensure dignity of the currency.

The statement reads: “In furtherance of the Federal Government’s policy and drives to uphold the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, and dignify Nigeria’s currency, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Intelligence Bureau to place officers and men of the Department and the Bureau across the nation on high alert and to carry out the arrest and subsequent prosecution of all individuals engaged in the sale or abuse of the Naira notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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“The IGP has similarly charged all supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police in charge of Police Commands and Formations to carry out full enforcement of the provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 which criminalizes amongst other things the hawking, selling or otherwise trading, spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira notes, falsifying or counterfeiting of bank notes, refusal to accept the Naira as a means of payment, tampering with the coin or note issued by the CBN.

“The Inspector-General of Police reiterated the mandate of the Nigeria Police Force to enforce all laws and regulations without any prejudice to the enabling Acts of other security agencies and urged all and sundry to cooperate with the Nigeria Police Force as it brings the long arm of the law to bear upon all violators of the provisions of the CBN Act, and other extant statutes in Nigeria, with a view to having a well-policed society in all ramifications within the country.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had assured Nigerians of decisive steps to stamp out the hardship created by the Naira redesign policy within seven days. The President, who made this known after meeting with the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in Abuja, slammed commercials banks for their complicity in the crisis.

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