Aisha Buhari, the wife of Nigeria’s outgoing President Muhammdu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has posted a fake press release purported to have emanated from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the naira redesign policy.
This is coming in the heat of controversies that have continued to trail the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in accessing banknotes since the implementation of the naira redesign policy by the apex bank.
The CDD Election War Room had earlier reported how Adams Oshiomhole, a chieftain of the APC, made a false claim on national television over the naira redesign policy.
President Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, February 16, directed the CBN to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days.
This means that the old N200 note would remain legal tender from February 10 to April 10, 2023.
Three days before the presidential elections, Aisha Buhari posted on her verified Instagram page, a press statement alluding that the apex bank had been directed to reissue and recirculate the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes to remain legal tender for 70 days up to May 1, 2023.
“Members of the public should therefore continue to spend the old notes”, part of the press statement read.
The post garnered over 1,386k likes thirty-seven minutes after the First Lady uploaded it on Instagram on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
The CDD Election War Room checked for the viral press statement on the CBN’s verified Twitter page and found that the apex bank already debunked it.
The CBN posted the original press statement alongside the fake one Aisha Buhari posted on Instagram.
In the original press statement, which was posted three days earlier, the apex bank debunked viral reports quoting it to have authorised banks to accept the old N500 and N1000 notes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and in line with Mr. President’s broadcast of February 16, 2023, the CBN has been directed to only reissue and recirculate the old N200 banknotes and this is expected to circulate as legal tender for 60 days up to April 10, 2023,” part of the original press statement read.
The latest press statement issued by the CBN further stressed that it was sticking to the President’s directive to reissue only old N200 banknotes.
The press release was dated February 21, 2023, and signed by Edward L. Adamu, CBN Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, and Osita Nwanisobi, Director, Corporate Communications.
Part of the CBN statement states, “the Bank is working with the law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehend and prosecute the purveyors of this fake news.”
Aisha Buhari would later post a disclaimer to say that the fake press statement seen on her Instagram page, was the handiwork of a hacker who she claimed intended to disrepute her.
“This person is a hacker, criminally minded with the intention to continue attacking my reputation through my social media platforms. But I am assuring that this is the first and last I am disclaiming fake news on my handle,” she said.
Aisha further said, “It is the responsibility of the security agencies to find out who am I sharing my social media handles with, despite being verified accounts, and take all necessary actions.”
The press statement posted by Aisha Buhari, purported to have emanated from the CBN, with the claim that old N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender until May 1, 2023, is fake; findings by the CDD Election War Room show that it was not issued by the CBN.
*This report has been updated to include the disclaimer issued by Aisha Buhari over the fake press statement earlier seen on her verified Instagram page