Buhari’s nephew, not former President approved naira redesign – CBN investigator

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The Special Investigator on the Central Bank of Nigeria and Related Entities, Jim Obazee, has indicated that the recent naira redesign wasn’t expressly approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obazee had gathered that the approval came from Buhari’s aide, Sabiu Tunde ‘Yusuf’.

This was contained in the investigator’s final report tagged, ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences) submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday.

Recall that Obazee, a former Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, was named by Tinubu as the CBN special investigator in a letter dated July 28, 2023.

The report revealed that it was the embattled former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who, in collaboration with Sabiu, implemented the naira redesign.

Sabiu is the former President’s nephew.

According to reports Emefiele, who is currently in Kuje Custodial Centre, is being prosecuted for N1.2bn in procurement fraud.

He has not been able to perfect the N300m bail granted him by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on November 22, 2023.

However, documents obtained by our correspondent on Thursday indicated that the former apex bank governor might face fresh criminal charges over the handling of the CBN naira redesign policy.

Emefiele could be “prosecuted for illegal issuance of currency under Section 19 of the CBN Act alongside Tunde Sabiu and the 12 top directors of the CBN.”

It was gathered that the naira redesign policy was sold to Buhari at the instance of Sabiu and that the initiative was done without the approval of the board of the CBN.

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Buhari didn’t approve naira redesign
The investigator found that Buhari didn’t approve of the naira redesign. It was Tunde Sabiu who first told Emefiele in September 2022 to consider the redesign of the naira.

“On October 6, 2022, Emefiele wrote to Buhari that he wanted to redesign and reconfigure the N1000, N500, and N200 notes.

“The former president tagged along but did not approve the redesign as required by law. Buhari merely approved that the currency be printed in Nigeria. The redesign was only mentioned to the board of the CBN on December 15, 2022, after Emefiele had awarded the contract to Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc on October 31, 2022,’’ the documents noted.

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