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Bobrisky Appeals 6-Month Jail Term for Naira Abuse

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LAGOS, Nigeria — Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, has filed an appeal against his recent conviction for abusing the Nigerian currency, seeking to overturn a six-month imprisonment sentence handed down by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The well-known social media personality and crossdresser was convicted on charges brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which included four counts of Naira abuse.

Bobrisky initially pleaded guilty to the charges before Justice A.O. Awogboro.

In the appeal, his lawyer, Bimbo Kusanu, argued that the trial judge had erred by imposing the maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine, contrary to the provisions of Section 416(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 (ADCJA). The ADCJA stipulates mandatory guidelines that should have been considered in sentencing.

The appeal specifically seeks to have the six-month imprisonment sentence set aside in favour of a fine.

Bobrisky’s legal team has proposed a fine of 50,000 Naira on each count instead of incarceration.

This legal challenge comes in the wake of Bobrisky’s conviction on April 12, which has sparked discussions about the enforcement of laws regarding the treatment of national symbols and currencies.

Popular Crossdresser Bobrisky Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison, No Option of Fine

LAGOS, Nigeria — In a decision that has sparked discussions around legal enforcement and cultural expression, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, widely known as Bobrisky, a prominent Nigerian cross-dresser, was sentenced to six months in prison without the option of a fine for abusing the national currency, the naira.

The sentence was handed down by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, April 12, 2024.

The conviction, which occurred on April 5, came after Bobrisky pleaded guilty to four counts of currency abuse during various social events where he was seen spraying money—a practice common in Nigerian celebrations but illegal under the Central Bank Act.

RELATED: Bobrisky Convicted for Mutilation of Naira Notes by Federal Court

The incidents occurred over multiple occasions in 2022 and 2023, involving sums totaling N490,000 ($1,080).

“The judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira,” Justice Awogboro stated during the sentencing.

The case has been under scrutiny, not just for the act of currency abuse, but also for the cultural implications it holds in a country where displaying wealth at social functions through “spraying” money is seen as a gesture of affluence and generosity.

Before delivering her sentence, Justice Awogboro questioned Bobrisky about his sex, to which he responded affirmatively as a man.

He will serve his sentence at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, beginning from March 24, 2024—the date of his arrest.

The legal proceedings were slightly delayed as the original sentencing date fell on a public holiday for the Eid-El-Fitri celebration, prompting an adjournment.

This legal action against Bobrisky underscores the Nigerian government’s efforts to enforce the laws around the handling of the naira, as stipulated by the Central Bank Act which prohibits tampering with the currency.

The enforcement of this law has been sporadic, and the high-profile nature of this case has brought renewed attention to the issue.

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