By Evelyn Usman
Eight persons were arrested weekend, over illegal sales of the naira notes, in Ikeja area of Lagos, with the recovery of N2.4 million ‘mint’.
The suspects, four men and four women as gathered, were arrested during raid of markets and party venues around Ikeja and its environs, last Friday and Saturday, by police operatives, those from sister security agencies and officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The suspects are: Adetoro Adijat, 37; Mahmoud Ayoola, 42; Eze Madu, 27; Olorunfunmi Shakirat, 38; Akonji Julius, 40; Olalekan Kadri ,23; Akinsonya Abiodun, 34 and Adeniyi Yetunde, 30.
Confirming the arrest, the Lagos State Police Command image maker, DSP Elkana Bala, said, “ A cash sum of N2,440,550.00 ‘naira mint’ of different denominations, used in the illicit trade and other exhibits were recovered. Investigation is ongoing to ascertain the source of the mints’ currency. The suspects will be charged to court under section 20 and 21 of the CBN Act 2007.
“It is a punishable offence under the CBN Act, for any person or group of persons to hawk, sale or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any note issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Upon conviction the offenders will be liable to imprisonment for not less than six months or a fine not less than N50,000 or both.
“It is important for members of the Public to note that, acts of spraying the Naira notes at occasions, soiling and writing on the Naira, squeezing, as well as hawking and selling of the country’s currency notes, are abuses of the naira and are punishable by law.
“We all have a duty to protect the Naira as our currency forms part of the symbols of our national identity. The Command thereby, appeals to the General Public to report any person or group of persons seen abusing the Naira to the Police or any law enforcement agency”.