3,234 jailed for currency offences in three years — Report

At least 3,234 persons were imprisoned for currency offences from 2018 to 2020.

This is according to the Prison Admission by Type of Offences, Sex and Year data from the recent 2021 Women and Men in Nigeria Statistical Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.

A breakdown showed that a total of 1,437 persons were imprisoned for currency offences in 2018, with men being 1,317 and women 120.

In 2019, a total of 1,066 were imprisoned, with men being 992 and women 74.

The figure was further reduced in 2020 to a total of 731 persons, consisting of 688 men and 43 women.

Currency offences usually involve a breach of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act 1974 and the Central Bank Act 2007.

A major currency offence is the making of counterfeiting currency or having the materials needed to make a counterfeiting currency, with both offences punishable by life imprisonment.

According to the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act 1974,  “Any person who falsely makes or counterfeits any bank note or coin resembling any bank note or current coin which is legal tender in any country other than Nigeria, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction thereof shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.’

It is also an offence to import and export, deal in, or possess any counterfeit currenc

Anyone who knowingly possesses counterfeit currency is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty-one year

The Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act 1974 also states, “Any person found committing an offence under this Act may be immediately apprehended without a warrant by any person and forthwith taken before a police officer thereafter to be dealt with according to law

Also, the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try offences created under this Ac

More offences are captured under the CBN Act 2007, which include defacing the legal tend and spraying the note

Section 21(3) of the CBN Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”


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