The Nigerian Naira is the Nigerian official currency minted by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited. This currency which is part of the country’s identity is managed and issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) throughout the country. It controls the volume of money supplied to the economy to ensure monetary and price stability.
However, Just like all Legal tender in the world, abusing the Naira note attracts various degrees of punishment. There are laws provided to guide citizens on how they can handle the Nigerian Naira.
We’ve seen how citizens abuse the Naira note, with some facing the law for this act. Just recently, operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Fraud Related Offences Commission on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, arrested an actress, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, for spraying and stepping on the new naira notes.
Omoseyin, who was handed over to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission for proper investigation, was on Monday by the EFCC before the court on a two-count charge.
One of the counts reads, “That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin on the 28th day of January 2023 at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court whilst dancing during a social occasion tampered with the sum of N100, 000.00 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same in the said occasion and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”
The second reads, “That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin on the 28th day of January, 2023 at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court whilst dancing during a social occasion tampered with the sum of N100, 000.00 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by dancing on same in the said occasion and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 21 (1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”
Citizens have had to flout this law severally, risking jail terms.
You Risk 6 Month In Jail For Abusing The Naira Note
Qudus Alalafia, Head of Chambers, Clemesis Associates, Wuye, Abuja, who spoke to Within Nigeria, said citizens who abuse the naira risk 6 months in jail or a fine of 50, 000 naira or both.
Alalafia who emphasized the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) said that spraying, dancing, or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise is illegal.
“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 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) is to the effect 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’ while 21 (5) of the same Act explains what it means to spray, match and hawks the naira notes. All these constitute abuse under CBN ACT.
“It, therefore, follows suit that every security agency is empowered to enforce this provision of the CBN Act against any party who abuses the Nigerian currency,” he said.
Alalafia added that the duty to ensure that the naira isn’t abused isn’t that of the government but that of all Citizens.
“It’s part of our civic duty and responsibility to make sure that we uphold and respect our national identity which Naira Notes form a part.”