Idris Okuneye AKA Bobrisky, a popular Nigerian socialite, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, for mutilating some naira notes. On April 12, 2024, a Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced her to six months in jail without the option of a fine. 

What was her crime?

The EFCC spokesman, Mr Dele Oyewale, confirmed the arrest and stated that Bobrisky was arrested on four different counts to which she pleaded guilty. During the judgment, Justice Abimbola Awogboro mentioned that Naira mutilation has become a menace that’s damaging the country’s image. Bobrisky’s sentence was to make an example of how Naira Abuse will be treated going forward 

But is the sentence fair?

Naira Abuse has long been a criminal offence in Nigeria, but spraying naira notes when dancing has also been a part of the Nigerian culture for ages; this law hasn’t seen much enforcement in the past. Before Bobrisky, on February 1, 2023, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) arrested Nigerian actress, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, after a video of her spraying and stepping on the new Naira notes circulated on the internet. Just like Bobrisky, she bagged six months of imprisonment. 

According to the 2007 CBN Act, the punishment for naira abuse — which includes spraying, stamping, engraving, selling and mutilation — is a fine of ₦50,000 or six months imprisonment. For a first-time offender, members of the public believe that the sentence with no option of a fine was made out of bias, but Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin was also sentenced with the only difference being that she got the option, of a fine because she was a first-time offender who pled guilty. She was eventually granted bail on February 15 2024, but for Bobrisky the case is not the same.

Although Bobrisky is also a first-time offender and has pled guilty with a promise to change and use his platform to educate people about the naira abuse, he wasn’t granted bail. This begs to question if there is some sort of bias behind the decisions of the court.

When did this one start?

The police have started taking Naira Abuse more seriously, rounding up more offenders in the last several months than they ever have before. One Simon Idio was arrested on February 12, 2024, for selling the naira. Who knows what might come next?

To learn other possible ways you might be breaking the law, click here.



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