IGP orders arrest, prosecution of naira notes sellers
Usman Alkali Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), has ordered the arrest of persons selling or abusing the naira.
The IGP on Friday instructed the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) and the assistant inspector-general of police in charge of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) to place their officers on “high alert”.
He said all individuals engaged in the sale or abuse of the naira notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be prosecuted.
Muyiwa Adejobi, police spokersperson, in a statement issued on Friday, said the police are duty-bound to uphold the federal government’s policy and the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007.
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 statement reads.
“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.”
The directive from the IGP is coming amid the scarcity of the new naira notes across the country — a situation that is heightening tension and causing hardship for Nigerians.
In several videos posted on social media, some citizens have been seen advertising naira notes for sale.
On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested some members of a syndicate who were hoarding and trading the redesigned naira notes in Abuja.
The Department of State Services (DSS) also made similar arrests in operations across the country.