The Lagos State Police Command has started clampdown on naira vendors in the state.
In another development, the command said that five suspects have been arrested for allegedly killing a young man who was wrongly accused of stealing, and dumping his body in the lagoon.
Police public relations officer in the state, Bala Elkana, said that acting on credible intelligence, the command in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other sister security agencies raided markets within Ikeja and environs where Nigerian currency were illegally traded.
He said:” The operation was carried out at the weekend. Eight suspects – Adijat, Ayoola, Madu, Shakirat, Julius, Olson, Kadri, Abiodun and Yetunde – were arrested in connection with the crime as N2,440,550.00 mint of different denominations, used in the illicit trade and other exhibits were recovered from the suspects.
“Investigation is ongoing to ascertain the source of the mints currency. The suspects will be charged to court under section 20 and 21 of the CBN Act 2007. It is a punishable offence under the CBN Act, for any person or group of persons to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any note issued by the CBN.
“Upon conviction, the offenders will be liable to imprisonment for not less than six months or a fine not less than N50,000 or both.
“It is important for members of the public to note that acts of spraying naira notes at occasions, soiling and writing on the naira, squeezing the naira as well as hawking and selling of the country’s currency notes are abuses of the naira and are punishable by law.
“We all have a duty to protect the naira as our currency forms part of the symbols of our national identity. The command, hereby, appeals to the general public to report any person or group of persons seen abusing the naira to the police or any law enforcement agency.”
The PPRO said on July 9, Langbasa Police Station received a complaint that on July 8, at about 8pm, one Olamide Omolegbe, 22, was killed. The deceased was accused of stealing a phone by Mrs Muhammed in her soft drink shop at Bodore, Ajah. The false alarm she raised led to the beating and killing of the victim by Wasiu, Ibrahim, Adebayo and Adegbite.
The four persons actually beat up the guy and when he died, they threw his body into the lagoon. His body was recovered by a team of detectives led by the divisional police officer, Ada Okafor, at Badore Jetty and deposited at Mainland Hospital mortuary for autopsy.