A former Director of Currency Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Ahmed Umar, testified on Tuesday in an FCT High Court regarding the controversial naira redesign policy.

Umar revealed that he was not privy to the minutes of a crucial CBN management meeting on the naira redesign, central to the case against the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele is facing a four-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging that he disobeyed legal directives, thereby causing public harm during the implementation of the naira swap policy initiated under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The trial is being conducted before Justice Maryann Anenih.

Mr. Umar, serving as the prosecution’s first witness (PW1), confirmed that he had signed the memorandum for the naira redesign in 2022. However, he clarified that the minutes of the October 26, 2023, Meeting of the Committee of Governors (CoG) of the CBN were not sent to him. “The minutes of the meeting were only circulated among members of the CoG,” he stated.

Led in evidence by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Umar detailed the process leading up to the naira redesign. He explained that the CBN management had directed the Currency Operations Department to draft a memo on the redesign of the naira notes in August 2022. Upon completion, this memo was submitted to the CoG for consideration.

The CoG, chaired by the CBN governor and comprising four deputy governors, held a meeting via Zoom on October 26, 2022, to deliberate on the submitted memo. Umar joined the meeting to present the memo but left after his presentation. He further disclosed that following the meeting, the Corporate Affairs Department conveyed an anticipatory approval from the CoG, pending ratification by the Board of Directors (BoD).

The trial continues as the court delves deeper into the proceedings and the implications of the naira redesign policy and its implementation.




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