Lagos Court Warns Against Hawking Naira, Sentences Offender

A Lagos Federal High Court has delivered a stern warning against the unlawful hawking of the Nigerian currency. The court convicted and sentenced Fabian John Itafor to three months of community service after he pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to prosecutor Abubakar S. Wara, Itafor was apprehended on February 24, 2024, at Leisure Event Center on Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, where he was found hawking new Naira notes. Upon his arrest, authorities discovered N347,000.00, $1, and £50 in his possession.

The prosecutor informed the court that Itafor’s actions violated Section 21(4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, prohibiting the unauthorized trading of Nigerian currency.

Itafor pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him. The prosecutor urged the court to impose a suitable penalty under the law

In mitigation, Itafor’s lawyer emphasized that his client was a first-time offender and expressed remorse for his actions. He appealed to the court to consider a fine instead of a custodial sentence.

Considering Itafor’s plea and lack of prior convictions, Justice Ogundare sentenced him to three months of community service. Additionally, the judge ordered Itafor to pay a fine of N50,000.00 in lieu of the custodial sentence.

Furthermore, the court confiscated Itafor’s POS machine and N347,000.00, $1, and £50, forfeiting them to the federal government.

This ruling serves as a warning to individuals engaging in the illegal trading of the Nigerian currency and underscores the consequences of such actions

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