Entertainment

April 12, 2024

‘No fine for first-time offender who pleaded guilty?’ Adeyanju, Yesufu, others react over Bobrisky’s conviction

Why court sentenced Bobrisky to six months in prison

By Ayobami Okerinde

Reactions have continued to trail the conviction of popular crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky, to six months in prison without the option of a fine.

The main pain points for many were that it was Bobrisky’s first offence and he pleaded guilty. Also, there were other person who were spraying money at same event as him.

Vanguard earlier reported that Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos delivered the judgment after Bobrisky pleaded guilty to Naira abuse charges.

Activist and lawyer, Deji Adeyanju; fiery rights advocate, AishaYesufu; infleuncer, Omojuwa, are among many who have expressed their misgivings about Bobrisky’s sentencing.

Reactions

After the ruling, activist and lawyer, Adeyanju, faulted the court’s decision to sentence Bobrisky to jail without the option of fine.

He questioned the appropriateness of the sentence. He cited efforts to decongest Nigerian prisons and the fact that this is Bobrisky’s first offense. His statement read: “We note with concern, the six months 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.” ‘The more you look…’

Similarly, a lawyer, Inibehe Effiong in a post on X (Twitter) wrote: “Six months imprisonment without an option of fine after he pleaded guilty? And despite being a first time offender?”I’m speechless!”

@AishaYesufu said: “Who advised him to plead guilty? How does spraying of money equate to mutilating money?

“If it is and a crime why is it selectively used?”

A constitutional lawyer, Festus Ogun, wrote: “Bobrisky is a first time offender. He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, to save the time of the court and resources of the state.

“Yet, he was convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment WITHOUT an option of fine.”

@Omojuwa wrote: “I hope there’s room for appeal. This person is a first-time offender who immediately pleaded guilty.

“Six months without a fine makes it appear like there are motives beyond what has been spelt out. It’d be one of the most bizarre carriages of ‘justice’ you’d ever see in Nigeria.” 

@_Asiwajerry wrote: “This Bobrisky sentence is a matter of the more you look the less you see.

“There are people who have committed far more heinous crimes than what he did and they got bail options.”

X user, @Letter_to_Jack said: “Never been a fan of Bobrisky. But if the breaking news of his sentencing is correct, then it’s worrisome. Is six months jail term without option of fine not excessive to you guys?

“Or you don’t care about fairness because you want the guy punished for something else entirely?”

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