FULL LIST: Jail term, fine, other consequences for mutilation, abuse of naira notes

The mutilation and careless handling of Naira notes is indeed a serious infraction that not only affects the economy but poses a health risk.

The improper use or abuse of the national currency also compromises the integrity of the financial system.

Over the years, there has been poor penalisation for this infringement. Politicians and prominent business personalities openly abuse the currency while holding naming, birthday, burial or wedding ceremonies.

It is believed that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is supposed to facilitate sensitisation or awareness programmes on the responsible use of the naira.

Recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested controversial cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, over currency mutilation and abuse of the Naira.

The EFCC invited the 31-year old following a video report of spraying and flaunting wads of new Naira notes at the premiere of a movie, Ajakaju, produced by Eniola Ajao at Film One Circle Mall, Lekki, Lagos on March 24.

In February 2024, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vowed to arrest people selling the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the notes at social functions across the country.

The apex bank said it will partner with security agencies to ensure that erring members of the public who abuse the new notes are arrested and duly punished in accordance with extant laws.

CBN is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.

According to CBN, any person who tampers with the Naira note or coin is guilty of an offence, punishable by law (CBN Act Section 21).

Sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act of 2017 outlaw any action by anyone who hawks, sprays, squeezes, dances on or writes on the naira and provides that perpetrators who are found guilty by the mobile courts should face a jail term of six months with an option of N50,000 fine.

Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”

Similarly, Section 21(4) states that: “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank”

The mutilation of the naira at different kinds of functions end up damaging the currency.

(The Nation)

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