HEDA Says Crime Done By The Past And Present Leaders Should be Revisited
Says Crime Done By The Past And Present Leaders Should be Revisited. The Human And Environmental Development Agenda [HEDA Resource Centre], a civil society organization, has demanded The investigation And prosecution of serving And retired government officials indicted in The scandal which rocked The printing of polymer Naira notes by The Professor Charles Soludo-led Central Bank of Nigeria between 2006 And 2008.
HEDA made The demand in a petition dated May 23, 2012, signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju., addressed to both The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) And The Independent Corrupt Practices And related Offences Commission (ICPC). The organization recalled that The N5, N20, N10 And N50 notes were launched on February 28, 2007, towards The exit of The administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The N5, N10 And N50 notes were made into paper while The N20 note was made in polymer.
According to HEDA, “The polymer notes of N5, N10 And N15 were later launched in October 1, 2009 by The late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. The polymer notes were said to be cheaper to print, convenient to use, stronger And durable as opposed to The paper notes but reports from various quarters have shown that The subsequent change of The N5, N10 And N50 to polymer notes had an ulterior undertone. The Age newspaper of Australia reported that Securency paid some N750 million in bribes to some officials of The CBN between 2006 And 2008 in order to secure The contract to make polymer notes for Nigeria.
The report stated that The company channeled The bribes through Benoy Berry And Michael Harvey, two British businessmen. The petition reminded The anti-corruption institutions of The publication culled from The Sydney Herald of September 29, 2009, by Elombah.com, one day before The launching of The N5, N10 And N15 polymer notes. That story indicated that Benoy Berry, a British businessmen, sent a letter to Myles Curtis (then Managing Director of Securency International Pty Limited, an Australian company) alleging a breach of contract And accusing The bank note company of bribing top officials of The Central Bank of Nigeria to secure The contract for Securency.
He also accused Securency of breaching polymer-based mint planned to be established in Nigeria as part of principled objectives of transferring technology to developing nations. HEDA further stated that The Australian Federal Police Authority sent a high level confidential security memo to The Presidency, through The Office of The National Security Adviser, detailing a bribery probe that centered on The series of multimillion-dollar payments by Securency into offshore bank accounts of The two British-based businessmen for onward transfer to Nigerian government officials to win The bank-note deal.
“Prominent amongst The names featured in The secret memo was that of The then CBN Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, senior officials of The Finance ministry, And a former president,” The petition said. It further alleged that despite The international And national outcry And outrage that followed The exposure of these corrupt practices, security agencies And anti-corruption institutions in Nigeria seem to have swept The matter under The carpet, as is The usual practice.
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