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Naira Abuse: Import of Court Judgment on Cubana Chief Priest



Consequent on the judgment of Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on the terms of settlement of the three-count charges bordering on abuse of Naira notes preferred against Okechukwu Pascal (alias Cubana Chief Priest) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, it is needful to emphasise that the Commission acted in line with Section 14(2) of its Establishment Act, 2004.

This Section of the EFCC’s Establishment Act empowers the Commission to compound any offence, subject to provisions of Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by “accepting such sum of money as it deems fit exceeding the maximum amount by which the offender would have been liable if he had been convicted”.

To this end, the N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) the court fined Cubana Chief Priest far exceeded the N50,000( Fifty Thousand Naira) his offence carries. This is in response to the application made to the EFCC by counsel to the defendant, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, SAN, seeking the compounding of the offences under Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

Additionally, Cubana Chief Priest would henceforth lead rigorous and intensive sensitization or campaign against abuse of coins and notes issued under the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Act.

The court also ruled that, “the defendant shall bi-monthly post on his various social media handles a minimum of two video clips of his sensitization/ campaign against abuse of naira and sundry offences”. All of these are strict deterrence meant to separate Cubana Chief Priest from future desecration of the Naira.

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The Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarisation of the economy is still in place. The Commission remains undeterred in the pursuit of its lawful mandate and the court’s ruling on Cubana Chief Priest should stimulate enhanced commitment of Nigerians to defend the sanctity of the Naira and refrain from any infraction against the nation’s legal tender.

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