Ex-CBN boss faces charges for naira printing, funds

Nigeria’s former central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been arraigned on charges of illegally authorizing the printing of new naira banknotes and improperly withdrawing billions of naira from a government fund. 

Emefiele, who is already facing a separate fraud trial, pleaded not guilty to the new charges during a court appearance in Abuja on Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege that between October 2022 and March 2023, Emefiele bypassed both the president and the Central Bank of Nigeria board to approve the printing of new 1,000, 500, and 200 naira notes. 

While intended to decrease cash circulation, the move reportedly disrupted businesses and caused hardship during the lead-up to the 2023 presidential election won by Bola Tinubu. 

The new notes remain in circulation alongside the old bills.

Emefiele is further accused of authorizing the withdrawal of 125 billion naira ($82.24 million) from a government fund – a violation of regulations set by the national assembly. 

This marks the highest-profile corruption case pursued by the Tinubu administration.

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