Family Of Kidnapped Nigerian Asked To Pay CFA 10 Million, Cameroonian Currency, As Ransom Amid Naira Scarcity
According to an exclusive report by SaharaReporters, some bandits have starting making fresh demands from their kidnap victims amid the naira scarcity.
The bandits placed a demand of CFA10 million, Central African CFA Franc (approximately N8 million) which is spent in Chad, Cameroon and four other countries, to free one Mukhtar, a Nigerian kidnapped two weeks ago in Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
A family member told SaharaReporters on Monday that the family was able to raise half of the demanded ransom.
He, however, said the terrorists had yet to release the victim.
“They asked us to bring 10 million in Cameroonian currency, we were able to raise 5 million and delivered to them. They assured us to go, he’ll be released afterwards, but they later reneged, insisting that we must complete the CFA10 million.
“We pleaded with that we don’t have any more money, but they argued that we should sell his house and make up the balance,” the family source said.
The terrorists have resorted to collecting ransoms in foreign currencies because of the cashless policy of the Nigerian government.
As of Monday morning, Central African CFA 1000 was exchanged for N800 at the Yola Bureau De Change.
Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it would redesign N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes, saying old notes should be swapped for new ones by January 31.
Following several appeals made by Nigerians, the deadline was moved to February 10. However, a Supreme Court ruling suspended the February 10 deadline.
A week after the Supreme Court ordered the Nigerian government to allow the continued use of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, President Muhammadu Buhari countered that order.
In his national broadcast last Thursday, Buhari announced that the old N500 and N1000 notes had ceased to be legal tender but extended the deadline for N200 notes to April 10.
But some states including Kaduna, Ogun, and Kano have announced that the old notes would still be considered legal tender in their domain, based on the Supreme Court ruling. The state governments also threatened to sanction any bank that rejects the old notes until the apex court says otherwise.
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