METRO/CRIME

Court Remands Bobrisky in EFCC custody, Fixes April 9 For Judgment 

 

 

The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed April 9, 2024, to sentence controversial cross-dresser and social media celebrity, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro reserved the date for his judgment after Bobrisky pleaded guilty to a four-count charge of Naira abuse brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge ordered that the convict be remanded in EFCC custody pending sentence.

The court called the case at exactly 11:55am with Mr. Sulaiman Sulaiman announcing appearing for the EFCC while Mr. Ayo Olumofin represented the defendant.

Justice Awogboro then directed Bobrisky to unveil his face which was covered with a black hijab. He complied.

The EFCC had filed a 6 count charge against Bobrisky. The first 4 counts of the charge bordered on abuse of the Naira while the last two counts border on alleged money laundering.

But before the charge was read to the defendant, the EFCC prosecutor, Sulaiman asked the court to strike out counts five and six.

He said, “We have an agreement with the defendant which will lead us to withdraw counts 5 and 6. In the circumstance, we’re humbly urging the court to strike out counts 5 and 6, leaving counts 1 to 4 alive”.

Justice Awogboro granted his request and subsequently struck out the two counts and ordered that the four-count charge be read to the defendant.

Bobrisky pleaded guilty to each of the four counts.

When the registrar asked if he understood the charge that was read to him, he said, ” Yes, I am guilty”.

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The EFCC prosecutor then proceeded to review the facts of the case.

He called an EFCC Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Bolaji Temitope, as his witness.

Prompted by the prosecution, the witness explained how he came to know Bobrisky.

Temitope said: “The EFCC received intelligence of individuals who are in the habit of spraying Naira during parties in Lagos. Base on this, the EFCC sent out an operation team to monitor and observe the activities of individuals who are in the habit of doing so.

“We usually visit event centres and monitor social media pages to determine where the Naira is being abused.

“During the exercise we came across videos on social media where the defendant was seen abusing the Naira.

“Our team then proceeded to view the video and burn same on CD.

“Consequently, an invitation letter was forwarded to the defendant. When he honoured the invitation. The defendant was shown a video where he was spraying money on Segun Johnson. He confirmed that he was the one in the video.

“An event at the Island circle mall was also shown to the defendant. A total of 400k was spent.

“The defendant was also shown another video in Aja Junction, Ikorodu and an event centre at Ikeja. He admitted spraying money in all the videos.

“He then offered his statement in writing.

The prosecutor then tendered the statement and videos. There was no objection from the defence team.

The court admitted them as exhibits and marked them Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

“That is the case of the prosecution and we pray the defendant be convicted as charged, my lord,” the prosecutor told the judge.

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In a bench ruling, Justice Awogboro held: “The defendant is convicted as charged”.

But Bobrisky pleaded for mercy, saying he was not aware of the law on abusing the Naira.

The judge then told him that ignorance of the law was not an excuse to which Bobrisky replied,” I know my lord.”

He further said to the judge, “My lord I wish that you can give me a second chance to use my platform to inform and educate my followers about spraying money”.

“I’m a social media influencer with over five million followers. I would do a video on my page and I will educate people about spraying money.

“I will not repeat it again my lord, I regret my actions my lord. I’m a first-time offender.”

His lawyer added that he had turned a new leaf and urged the judge to grant Bobrisky a non-custodial sentence and an option of a fine.

Justice Awogboro has adjourned sentencing till April 9.

With the conviction, Bobrisky could either serve six months in prison, pay a fine of N50,000 or do both.

Section 21 (1) of the CBN Act 2007 states that “a person who tampers with a coin or note issued by the Bank is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable for imprisonment for a term not less that six months or to a fine not less that N50,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

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