Buhari Approved Redesigned Naira Notes, EFCC Witness Reveals in Emefiele’s Trial

By Funmi Ojo

In the ongoing trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, a witness disclosed to the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja that former President Muhammadu Buhari approved the printing of newly designed naira notes.

Ahmed Umar, a former Director of Currency Operations at the CBN, revealed during proceedings led by prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo SAN that President Buhari sanctioned the local production of the redesigned currency.

These new notes featured a QR code and a portrait on the right side.

However, under cross-examination by Mahmoud Magaji SAN, Emefiele’s counsel, Umar admitted that the final currency notes differed from the initially approved design.

Another witness, Ahmed Halilu, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company PLC, testified that Emefiele informed him in October 2022 about the presidential approval for redesigning the N100, N200, and N500 notes.

Halilu noted the importance of local production aligned with domestic capabilities and suggested the involvement of De La Rue, a UK-based company renowned for currency design.

Despite initial discrepancies in the redesign, the samples were eventually approved by the CBN Governor and produced.

Halilu disclosed that De La Rue was compensated £205,000 by the CBN for their services.

These testimonies highlight the complexities involved in the currency redesign process and underscore the challenges faced in aligning the final product with the initial vision.

The revelations in court bring to light the decision-making process and the involvement of high-level officials, including the former president and the former CBN governor, in the redesign initiative.

The trial continues to attract significant attention, as it delves into the actions and decisions of key figures in Nigeria’s financial sector.

The outcome of this case is expected to have far-reaching implications for the transparency and accountability of monetary policies and governance in Nigeria.

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photographer | Videography | Businessman | Actor | Contractor | Motivational Speaker | Scout and currently the Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers.

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