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Abuse of Naira: Egba Traditional Council Suspends Olu, Owode-Egba

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The Egba Traditional Council has suspended Oba Kolawole Sowemino, Olu, Owode-Egba in Ogun State, for abusing the Naira at a public function.

Sowemino, who was seen in a viral video decorating popular musician, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, also called Kwam 1, with knitted N1000 notes, had earlier been cautioned by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

The agency said the action contravenes Section 21 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 as amended, which stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the bank during social occasions or otherwise, constitutes abuse and defacing of the naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.

The monarch had thereafter apologised for the infraction, saying he was carried away in his bid to celebrate his wife.

Announcing his suspension after the February statutory meeting of the council, held on Friday and chaired by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the council said it adopted the recommendation of its Ethical Committee, which said he should not be invited and not seen at any government or public function as well as not receive salary for two months.

Chairman of a three-member Ethical Committee of the council and Olowu of Owu, Oba (Prof.) Saka Matemilola, while reading the decision of the body, declared that the action of Sowemimo breached the CBN Act and the Yoruba traditional institution.

He referred to precedence when a citizen was arrested and prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

In his apology, the monarch had said, “I don’t want to argue or talk about that matter with anybody again. If I did anything wrong, I’m sorry. There are more than 1,000 videos of people spraying money, even marching on the Naira notes.

“I know they picked on me because I’m a royal father and I’ve apologized that I’m sorry. What they said in the letter was like an advisory because I’m a royal father, but it will not happen again.

“I’m not happy with the way people are talking about me on social media. I was just carried away with the celebration of my wife. For 13 years, I’ve never done any party, so I was so excited that I wanted to kill off the party. But I’m really sorry”, he stressed.


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