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Abuja Lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, Faults Bobrisky’s 6-month Jail Term

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An Abuja-based activist and lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, has faulted the six-month imprisonment sentence pronounced by a Federal High Court in Lagos against celebrity transgender, Idris Okuneye, a.k.a Bobrisky, over Naira abuse.

Adeyanju said the prison term without the option of fine suggested that Bobrisky, also called ‘Mummy of Lagos', was targeted for punishment for an unknown offence other than the Naira mutilation offence.

In a statement signed by Deji Adeyanju & Partners and posted on his personal Facebook page on Friday, the activist said that while he does not condone illegal activities or violation of the law by citizens, it was, however, untenable that the Judge will imprison Bobrisky despite the convict's plea to be given a second change and promise to use his social media influence to sensitise his about five million followers against currency mutilation on one hand and against the backdrop that there were ongoing efforts by all stakeholders to decongest the Custodial Centres on the other hand.

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“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 or (otherwise called Naira mutilation), though an offence criminalised by law, is one that has been part of our cultural practice from time immemorial. The relevant agencies, therefore, have a duty to carry out large-scale sensitization 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,” Adeyanju stated.

LEADERSHIP reports that Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced Bobrisky to six-month imprisonment for abusing and mutilating the Naira notes following his arrest and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC).


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