Lawyer Criticizes Bobrisky’s Naira Abuse Sentence


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Lawyer and human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has voiced disagreement with the six-month imprisonment handed to controversial figure Bobrisky, also known as Idris Okuneye, for naira abuse.

Adeyanju highlighted the importance of considering the cultural significance of naira spraying in Nigerian social events and suggested that community service would have been a more suitable punishment.

It would be recalled that on Friday the Federal High Court in Lagos issued the sentence without the option of a fine, aiming to deter similar offenses.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro emphasized the deterrent effect of the judgment, particularly regarding the abuse and mutilation of the national currency.

Bobrisky was convicted on April 5 after pleading guilty to the charge of naira abuse filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Adeyanju’s statement criticized the lack of a fine option in Bobrisky’s sentence, particularly as authorities work to alleviate prison congestion nationwide.

The statement read, “We note with concern, the six-month sentence handed down to Mr Okuneye Idris Olarewaju (AKA Bobrisky), without an option of fine, for naira mutilation offence, as reported by various National news platforms. While we do not condone any attempt to break down the law or actual violation of the law, we are, however, constrained to state on record that at a time when private individuals, non-governmental organisations, states, and federal governments are taking steps to decongest our prisons, Mr Olarewaju, a first-time offender, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, notwithstanding his allocutus and promise to use his platform to sensitise the public against Naira mutilation.

“In handing down sentences, we urge our courts to be mindful of the cultural undertone surrounding offences. The act of spraying naira (otherwise called naira mutilation), though an offence criminalised by law, has been part of our cultural practice from time immemorial. The relevant agencies, therefore, have to carry out large-scale sensitisation on the issue, before seeking to prosecute offenders.

“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.

“In conclusion, we urge our security agencies to adopt a community service approach for victimless crimes like naira mutilation, while we reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law and the protection of human rights at all times.”

Tropic Reporters
Tropic Reporters
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