Cubana ChiefPriest to lead campaign against Naira abuse in line with court ruling

Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court in Lagos has settled the case involving Okechukwu Pascal, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, who faced three-count charges of Naira note abuse brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

The EFCC acted in compliance with Section 14(2) of its Establishment Act, 2004, which allows the Commission to compound any offence by accepting a sum of money exceeding the maximum fine that would have been imposed upon conviction. This section works in conjunction with Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Cubana Chief Priest was fined N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira), a significant increase from the N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) statutory penalty for his offence. This decision followed an application by the defendant’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, SAN, who sought the compounding of the offences under the aforementioned section of the EFCC Act.

 

EFCC spokesperson stated, “The N10,000,000 fine imposed on Cubana Chief Priest far exceeds the usual penalty for such offences, highlighting the severity of the violation.”

 

In addition to the monetary fine, Cubana Chief Priest is required to spearhead a vigorous campaign against the abuse of coins and notes issued under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act. The court also mandated that he post a minimum of two sensitization video clips on his social media handles every two months.

 

“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,” Justice Ogundare ruled. “These measures are strict deterrents meant to prevent future desecration of the Naira.”

 

The EFCC reiterated its commitment to enforcing laws against Naira abuse. “The Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarisation of the economy remains in place,” the EFCC stated. “This court ruling should stimulate enhanced commitment among Nigerians to defend the sanctity of the Naira and refrain from any infractions against the nation’s legal tender.”

The case of Cubana Chief Priest sets a precedent and serves as a warning to others regarding the consequences of disrespecting Nigeria’s currency.

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