Why We Can’t Prosecute Obi Cubana For Abuse Of Naira – CBN
Following the reaction from some Nigerians of the failure of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sanction violators of the Nigeria’s currency, the Nigeria apex bank said it has no power to take such action.
In July, Nigerians’ reactions dominated the headlines after the capturing of a nightclub businessman, Obi Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, and his friends for violating the currency during the burial of his mother in Oba, Anambra State.
The Section 21 of the CBN Act of 2007 kick against the spraying of and stomping on the Naira notes. The Law stated that any person caught in the act will be imprisoned for six months, with an option of fine, or both penalties will be meted on such individual.
During the weekend, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, said that the CBN is not a law enforcement agency.
Nwanisobi, in an interactive session with the organized labour in Calabar, the Cross Rivers State capital, where he represented the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said “CBN is not a law enforcement agency. But we completely frown at such an attitude where the national currency is not accorded its due respect as other nationals do their currencies.”
He added that so much capital goes into the production of the naira notes, and Nigerians eventually bear the cost.
This statement contradicts the CBN Act of 2007, which empowers the CBN to take action against abusers of naira. According to the act:
“(1) A person who tampers with a coin or note issued by the Bank is guilty of an offence and shall face imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N50,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.”