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Lawyer Faults Bobrisky’s Six-Month Imprisonment Sentence



Lawyer Faults Bobrisky’s Six-Month Imprisonment Sentence

Deji Adeyanju, a lawyer and human rights activist, has criticised the six-month imprisonment sentence handed down to controversial crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, for abuse of the naira.

He urged the courts to consider the cultural significance surrounding the spraying of naira notes in Nigerian social events and opt for community service sentences instead.

News About Nigeria reports that the Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced Bobrisky to six months imprisonment without the option of a fine for abusing the naira.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro, while delivering the judgement, stated that it would serve as a deterrent to others found abusing and mutilating the naira.

Bobrisky was convicted on April 5 after pleading guilty to the charge of abusing the naira filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In response to the sentencing, Adeyanju expressed concern about imprisoning a first-time offender like Bobrisky, especially amidst efforts to decongest prisons across the country.

He questioned why Bobrisky was singled out for prosecution when others engaged in similar acts during the same event.

“We also note that even at the said event, where Mr. Olarenwaju was alleged to have mutilated the naira, there were several other persons engaging in the same act. The question is, why single out Mr Olarenwaju? In prosecuting offences like this, security agencies must be careful not to give the impression that the defendant is being targeted for alleged offences other than those stated on the face of the charge,” he said.

Adeyanju urged the courts to be mindful of the cultural significance of spraying naira notes, noting that while it is a criminal offence, it has been part of Nigerian cultural practices for generations.

He called for large-scale sensitisation efforts before prosecuting offenders.

He further stated that security agencies need to adopt a community service approach for victimless crimes like naira mutilation.