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    Bobrisky begs court for mercy over spraying naira

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    Bobrisky was arraigned on a six-count charge but two charges were dropped.

    Lagos socialite and transwoman, Idris Okuneye, aka Bobrisky, on Friday pleaded guilty to a four-count charge of abuse of the naira and money laundering preferred against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at a Lagos court.

    She was originally arraigned on a six-count charge, but two of the charges were dropped following a discussion between the parties. The court convicted the defendant following a guilty plea.

    The court however, reserved sentence until April 9 and ordered that she be remanded in custody of the EFCC till then. When the case was called, the prosecutor, Suleiman Suleiman, informed the court that following a discussion, the defendant agreed to plead guilty to the charges.

    She, consequently, applied for counts five and six to be struck out, leaving counts one to four. The court accordingly struck out counts five and six.

    Ayo Olumofin appeared for defence. When the remaining counts was read to the defendant, she pleaded guilty to same. Following her plea, the prosecutor called on the investigating police officer to give a brief review of the case as its prosecution witness.

    The witness, Bolaji Temitope, an assistant superintendent of the EFCC, said that during investigation, the team came about a video where the defendant was seen mutilating the naira notes. He said that the videos were downloaded and copied on a Compact Disc (CD) while a letter of invitation was sent to the defendant.

    According to him, the defendant honoured the invitation and when she arrived the EFCC office, the defendant was cautioned and volunteered a statement.

    The witness told the court that the defendant was then shown a video where she was spraying money on an artiste called Segun Johnson adding that the defendant confessed and admitted that he was the person in the video.

    He said the defendant was also shown a video of her at Circle Mall Lekki, where she sprayed a total sum of ₦400,000 at a movie premiere, adding that the defendant again admitted same. He told the court the defendant was also shown two videos of her spraying money at Ajah and Ikorodu junction in Lagos, and the defendant still admitted same.

    At this point, the prosecutor showed the witness the CD containing the videos as well as statement of the defendant and certificate of identification. The witness confirmed same to the court, and there was no objection from the defence.

    The court consequently, admitted same and marked them exhibit A, B1 and B2. The prosecutor, then urged the court to convict the defendant as charged based on the case as presented by the EFCC.

    The court consequently, found the defendant guilty of the offence as charged and accordingly convicted her. In Bobrisky’s plea for mercy, the defendant told the court that she is a social media influencer with five million followers.

    She said, “In all honesty, I was not aware of the law; my lord, I wish I can be given a second chance to use my platform to educate my followers about spraying the naira. I will do a video on my page and educate those who do not know like myself, about spraying of the naira. I regret my action,” she said.

    On his part, defence counsel begged for a non-custodial sentence for the defendant. The judge reserved judgement until April 9, and ordered that she be remanded in EFCC custody pending judgement.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bobrisky was arrested on Thursday by the anti-graft agency in connection with the offence.

    According to the charge, she was said to have committed the offence on March 24, at Circle Mall, Jakande in the Lekki area of Lagos. The agency said she tampered with the cumulative sum of ₦400,000 while dancing during a social event, by spraying same.

    She was said to have sprayed various tranches of money between 2022 and 2023 such as ₦20,000 and ₦50,000 at various events.

    Meanwhile, in the struck out counts, the EFCC had said the defendant, trading under the name and style of Bob Express between September 1, 2021 and April 4, also failed to submit to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, a declaration of the activities of his company.

    According to the EFCC, within the said period, the sum of ₦128 million was paid into the company’s account. It had said that within same period the defendant failed to submit a declaration to the unit, of his company, where the sum of ₦53 million was paid.

    The offences contravene the provisions of sections 21(1) Central Bank Act 2007, and 19 Money Laundering Act 2022.

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