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Bobrisky: Activist condemns six months jail sentence

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Bobrisky

Lawyer and Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has strongly condemned the sentencing of Okuneye Idris Olarewaju, popularly known as Bobrisky, to six months in prison for Naira abuse.

The jail sentence, which does not offer an option for a fine, has stirred significant debate among Nigerians over the severity of the punishment and its broader implications.

Adeyanju, in a statement made available via the X handle of his law firm, Deji Adeyanju & Partners, questioned the appropriateness of the sentence, citing efforts to decongest Nigerian prisons and the fact that this is Bobrisky’s first offense.

The statement read, “We note with concern the six-month 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.

Deji Adeyanju

“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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