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Naira Abuse: Why Cubana Chief Priest Was Fined, Not Jailed – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has defended its decision to impose a hefty fine of N10 million on Okechukwu Pascal, also known as Cubana Chief Priest, for abusing Naira notes, despite the statutory penalty being significantly lower.

The agency’s explanation came against the background of questions on social media criticising the agency’s decision to impose a fine on Cubana Chief Priest while popular social media influencer, Bobrisky, was jailed for the same offence.

In a statement, the EFCC emphasised that the fine imposed on Cubana Chief Priest exceeded the usual N50,000 statutory penalty for Naira abuse due to provisions under Section 14(2) of its Establishment Act.

This section allows the EFCC to accept fines higher than the maximum statutory amount, provided certain conditions are met.

Head of Media & Publicity for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, explained, “The Commission acted within its legal mandate as outlined in Section 14(2) of its Establishment Act.

“This decision is aimed at deterring future violations and upholding the sanctity of our national currency.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Cubana Chief Priest is required to conduct regular sensitization campaigns against Naira abuse on his social media platforms.

The court further mandated him to post at least two video clips bimonthly to educate the public on respecting the Naira and adhering to relevant laws.

The EFCC’s handling of the case has sparked criticism on social media.

A tweep, Ayodeji Aladejana, questioned the consistency in applying such settlements, referencing other cases like Bobrisky’s.

Meanwhile, Uche queried the outcome of Bobrisky’s plea for leniency. He wondered why the EFCC allowed Cubana to pay a fine and opted to prosecute Bobrisky to the full extent of the law.

Others expressed disillusionment with the EFCC’s perceived favoritism and inconsistency.

Tony Ishola criticized the commission’s approach, suggesting a lack of impartiality in its enforcement actions.

Dr. Ema lambasted the EFCC for what he perceived as bending laws based on financial influence, questioning the integrity of its operations.

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