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

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LAGOS, Nigeria — In a decision that has sparked discussions around legal enforcement and cultural expression, Idris 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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