Court jails actress six months for spraying and stepping on New Naira notes

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, handed a six-month prison sentence to Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, an actress, for spraying and trampling on the recently issued Naira notes during a social event in Lagos.

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 count 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 N100,000.00 (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 February 1, 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 recounted that the accused was apprehended by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on February 1, 2023, and subsequently transferred to the Commission on February 2, 2023, for additional inquiry. During the questioning, the defendant provided a statement under caution, revealing that she had attended a friend’s wedding on January 28, 2023, during which she sprayed N200 and N100 Naira notes.

“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.”

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,  forensic report of her phone, a CD of videos showing her spraying the naira note, a flash drive from the event centre together with 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 judgment, Justice Aneke sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment, effective from Thursday, with an option of N300,000.00 (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 notes.  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 persons who gave her the money.

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