Femi Falana, human rights advocate asserted that the new cash withdrawal policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is illegal.
It should be recalled that on December 6, the CBN directed deposit money banks and other financial institutions to ensure that weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.
The policy is expected to take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023.
Reacting to the policy, Falana, in a statement on Monday, said the apex bank’s new cash withdrawal limit was “illegal and null” and contravenes provisions of section 2 of the money laundering act, 2022.
The human rights advocate said section 2 of the act, limits cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities to N5 million and N10 million, respectively.
He argued that since the act has not been amended, the new CBN policy is “null and void”.
“Since the money laundering act, 2022 (which has fixed maximum cash withdrawal to N5 million) has not been amended, the limitation of cash withdrawal of not more than N20,000 per day and N100,000 per week fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria is illegal, null and void in every material,” Falana said.
“We urge the Nigerian people to ignore the illegal announcement.
“However, we are compelled to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the management of the CBN to withdraw the illegal guideline and stop announcing more policies that are designed to sentence poor citizens to more excruciating economic hardship.”