The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has demanded that Senator Dino Melaye be prosecuted for allegedly abusing the Naira notes during the burial of his mother in July this year.
In a petition by HEDA chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, sent to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the group said Melaye breached the bank’s rules.
According to HEDA chairman, the Kogi West senator, as an elected office holder, ought to show example and not break the law.
Clips of the burial videos which went viral on social media soon after the burial, had shown Melaye spraying Yinka Ayefele, an artiste, with local and foreign currencies.
Suraju, in his petition described the senator’s supposed action as a mockery of the country’s constitution.
He wrote, “Critical review of the video that has gone viral over the social media, goes to the root of irony as men and women elected into power who ought to lead by example are the ones found disobeying and breaking the laws and this only goes to show the irony and the complete lack of integrity in our electoral process that we elect into power men and women who make laws and still find it difficult to abide by them.
“We believe this action of the lawmaker is an outright violation of and disregard for the currency and also show of bad precedence. Leaders ought to lead by example and in accordance with provisions of the law. The Act in reference is absolutely clear on the provisions as stated above.
“However, our organization believes in the presumption of innocence; hence the need for the petition and prompt action.
“This spraying of the currency amounts to tampering with the currency against Section 21 of the Central Bank Act, 2007 which is an offence punishable by law.”
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The HEDA chairman noted that the petition was based on section 21(1) of the CBN act which states that; “A person who tampers with a coin or note issued by the Bank is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N50,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
It is not yet clear if the apex bank will take the matter up and prosecute Melaye, at least to demonstrate that its constant warnings against abuse of the Naira were not empty talks.