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Bobrisky’s offence should attract community service not 6 months jail – Adeyanju

A rights activist lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, has faulted the six-month sentence handed down to Okuneye Idris Olarewaju, popularly known as Bobrisky, over Naira mutilation.

Adeyanju urged security agencies to adopt a community service approach for victimless crimes like currency mutilation in the country.

On Friday, Justice Abimbola Awogboro handed down a six-month sentence without the option of a fine to Bobrisky.

The controversial celebrity has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, since his arrest last week.

He will now serve the jail term in the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos.

The statement by Adeyanju reads: “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.

“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.”

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