Nigerian actress jailed six months for spraying new naira notes

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting
in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, February 1, 2024, convicted and sentenced one
Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, an actress, to six months imprisonment for spraying and
stepping on the new naira notes at a social event in Lagos State.


She was first arraigned on February 13, 2023, by the Lagos
Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on
two-count charges, to which she pleaded “not guilty.”


She was subsequently granted bail on February 15, 2023.


One of the charges reads: “That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin,
on the 28th day of January 2023, at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos, within
the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, whilst dancing during a social
occasion, tampered with the sum of N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira) issued
by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same in the said occasion and you
thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of
the Central Bank Act, 2007.”


At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Omoseyin, however,
changed her “not guilty” plea to “guilty” in view of the overwhelming evidence
against her.


Following her “guilty plea”, the prosecution counsel, Z.B.
Atiku called Abubakar Mohammed Marafa, an operative of the EFCC, to review the
facts of the matter.


Marafa recalled: “The defendant was arrested by officers of
the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC,
on February 1, 2023, and was handed over to the Commission on February 2, 2023,
for further investigation.”


According to him, the defendant’s statement was taken under
caution, where she stated that she attended a friend’s wedding on January 28,
2023, and that she sprayed N200 and N100 naira notes on the occasion.


“The defendant was processed, and the videos of where she
sprayed the money was found on her phone. Also, further investigations were
carried out and the management of the event centre was invited. They also
brought in the video footage of the said event,” he said.


The prosecution counsel, thereafter, further applied to
tender, in evidence, the letter from the ICPC and other accompanying documents,
including the extra-judicial statement of the defendant, a forensic report of
her phone, a CD of videos showing her spraying the naira note, a flash drive
from the event centre, and the statement of the representative of the centre.


Justice Aneke admitted them as exhibits and convicted the
defendant, as charged.


The defence counsel, Afuye Adegbola, pleaded for leniency,
saying, “She’s a first-time offender; she is a mother of one; she is remorseful
and pleads for mercy.”


He further pleaded for a non-custodial sentence on behalf of
the convict.


Delivering judgement, Justice Aneke sentenced the defendant
to six months imprisonment, effective from Thursday, with an option of a
N300,000 (three hundred thousand naira only) fine to be paid into the
consolidated revenue account of the federation.


Omoseyin bagged her imprisonment when she was arrested by
operatives of the ICPC along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, after the video of her
spraying and stepping on the newly redesigned Naira notes at a party surfaced
online. In the viral video, she was also seen flaunting wads of the new naira


In her statement to the commission, she claimed that she
received the new naira notes from her fans at the party and that she did not
know the person who gave her the money.


Items recovered from her at the point of arrest include a
Range Rover.


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