Bandits display new naira notes, experts indict bankers
Some security experts have said the purpose of the Central Bank on the new naira notes redesign might have been defeated following a viral video showing a notorious bandit kingpin, Kachalla Baleri, and his gang members flaunting new naira notes allegedly from a N10m ransom received from relatives of abductees, according to some defence blogs.
This is as they added the possibility that some bankers might be conniving with the bandits.
In the viral video seen by our correspondents on Thursday, Baleri and his gang members, who spoke Hausa, could be seen displaying the new currency notes.
Posting the video on Thursday morning, a defence blogger with the Twitter handle @Edrees4P tweeted, “Short video clip of a terrorist leader, Baleri, displaying new naira notes and claiming that he has more than enough to buy more weapons.”
Also, @DefenceTimesNG tweeted, “Scarcity of Naira: Notorious bandit leader Kachalla Baleri releases video clip displaying new naira notes he received from the N10m ransom in N200 and N1000 denominations,” after posting a photo of Baleri.
In the video, Baleri could be seen alongside some armed men displaying N1,000 and N200 notes.
Speaking in Hausa, the bandit kingpin, who claimed to have used some of the new notes to buy ammunition, said only Allah knows the amount of the new naira notes he has stored in sacks.
Baleri said, “They redesigned the naira, poor innocent people don’t even know about it. Some don’t even own up to N10,000. He has to wake up early in the morning to go and hustle. What of those who have millions in the cities? You see, it is between them. The money they are saying people are changing, we that are in the bush are changing it, some people who are in the cities haven’t even received it.
“But you see, the people they are referring to as terrorists have hold of the money. This is the new N1,000 note; this is the new N200 note. We are just showing them a little of what we have. We have plenty of sacks of the new money, and only Allah knows the amount of the new notes that we have.”
Meanwhile, a background voice could be heard saying, “I have N10m at home.”
Meanwhile, our correspondents could not get comments from the Department of State Security Service or the Defence Headquarters, as inquiries sent to their spokespersons on Thursday were not responded to as of press time.
Reacting to the development, a security expert, Timothy Avele, who spoke to one of our correspondents on Thursday, said, “The terrorists might have received the new naira notes from kidnapped victims’ relatives. This could partly defeat the purpose of redesigning the currency in the first place.
“The truth is that, while the policy is generally good, there’s poor coordination and implementation. Many key stakeholders were not carried along, hence the hiccups being experienced in almost the whole country in getting the new naira to citizens.”
Another security expert, Patrick Agambu, said, “Since the terrorists, as seen in the video, are now in possession of the new notes, it shows that they got them from some bankers with whom they’re dealing and might have swapped old notes with them for the new ones.”
reports that Kachalla was one of the 19 bandits/terrorists kingpins that were declared wanted by the Defence Headquarters in November 2022.
The military high command also placed a N5m bounty on each of them to encourage Nigerians to volunteer information that could lead to their arrest.