APC Governorship Candidate Faces Imprisonment Threat Over Alleged Naira Abuse

Monday Okpebholo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State, is facing potential legal consequences following accusations of abusing the Nigerian currency, the naira. A coalition of civil society organizations, under the Network of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), urging them to investigate and prosecute Okpebholo in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007.

In their petition dated May 2, 2024, addressed to the EFCC chairman, the coalition, represented by Victor Kalu and Ali Abacha as National Coordinator and National Secretary respectively, accused Okpebholo of naira abuse and mutilation. Citing the CBN Act of 2007, which deems such actions punishable offenses, the coalition expressed disappointment in prominent individuals, including lawmakers, for violating this provision.

The coalition lauded the EFCC’s swift response in previous cases of naira abuse, such as those involving public figures like Bobrisky and Cubana Chief Priest. They emphasized the importance of holding all individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of status, and called for Okpebholo’s investigation and prosecution.

Furthermore, the coalition warned of potential repercussions if the EFCC failed to address the allegations, threatening to organize peaceful protests against the commission for perceived selective action and bias.

In response, Okpebholo vehemently denied the allegations, labeling them as false and part of a smear campaign orchestrated by his detractors ahead of the gubernatorial election. He asserted his innocence, stating that he has never engaged in naira abuse throughout his life.

Okpebholo attributed the allegations to the opposition camp’s desperation and urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate and prosecute the individuals behind the petition. He reaffirmed his commitment to the APC’s agenda and emphasized the need for Edo people to support his candidacy to bring federal government development initiatives closer to the state.


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