Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, to order the arrest of the controversial Onitsha based prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere also known as Odumeje.
HURIWA wants Odumeje arrested for his serial abuses of the Nigerian naira and other denominations during his public ceremonies in Onitsha.
The National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf on Sunday in a statement said it had resolved to write officially to the Minister of Finance, CBN governor and President Muhammadu Buhari to implore them to defend the naira against global defacing of the naira notes.
“We have watched with disappointments as this self-professed prophet Odumuje kept abusing and defacing the national currency and both the Police and the CBN have failed for many months to stamp their authorities and prosecute these serial abusers of the national currency,”the statement reads.
“We ask the CBN to ensure that that the legal provisions that should have protected the naira notes from abuse which are today being observed more in the breach than in compliance should be reversed.
“It is true as observed recently by a patriotic citizen that quite disappointingly, CBN and the security agencies have had their eyes glue-closed while the nation and its inhabitants suffer from preventable abuses of the national currency.
Just as we reaffirm and re-echo the fact as stated by an observer that as it were, the law against abuse of naira has been in place for over a decade, yet the CBN is still at the stage of “awareness creation” and “sensitization” of the citizens whereas religious houses are openly celebrating the abuses of the national currency which is a legal tender that ought to be respected by the citizens and everyone in Nigeria.”
HURIWA recalled that according to Section 21(3) of CBN Act 2007 “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank (CBN) during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under Sub-section 1 of this section.”
Also in 2018, the CBN organized a “CBN FAIR” in Calabar where it used the opportunity to create awareness and sensitize the public on the “appropriate use” of the Naira, Nigeria’s legal tender notes.
CBN, also “cautioned Nigerians against abusing the Naira notes, warning that anyone caught would risk six months imprisonment or pay a fine of N50,000