Sat, 13 Jul 2024

 

Bobrisky begs court to convert imprisonment to N200,000 fine
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Tue, 23 Apr 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

Controversial cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, alias Bobrisky, has appealed against the six months imprisonment imposed on him by the Federal High Court in Lagos which convicted him of charges of abuse of naira.

In the appeal lodged on his behalf by his lawyer, Bimbo Kusanu, Bobrisky wants the Court of Appeal to convert the six-month imprisonment to N50,000 fine on each of the four counts he was convicted of.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro had on April 12, 2024, sentenced Bobrisky, to six months imprisonment without an option fine for abusing the naira by spraying the currency at a party, leading to mutilation.

Bobrisky had on April 5, 2024, pleaded guilty to four counts of abuse of the naira preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The judge while sentencing the cross-dresser, said the judgment would serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

However, in his Notice of Appeal filed before the Appeal Court, the cross-dresser urged the appellate court to consider the fact that he has no previous record of criminal conviction.

He averred that the sentence imposed by the trial court against him was punitive contrary to the mandatory provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law on sentencing.

He stated that the trial court did not consider the positive antecedent of the appellant, who did not waste the precious judicial resources of the trial court, when he pleaded guilty to the charge.

He also noted that he honoured the invitation of the EFCC on the first invitation during the investigation leading to the charge.

“The sentence of the lower court that imposed the maximum penalty of six months imprisonment without option of fine on the appellant, who is a first-time convict without a previous record of criminal conviction, is harsh.

“The learned trial judge erred in law and facts by his imposition of the maximum sentence of six months imprisonment terms against the appellant without the option of fine contrary to the provisions of Section 416(2) (d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 that prescribed the mandatory guidelines on the trial court on imposition of sentencing after criminal conviction of a first time offender as the appellant.

“The trial court imposed the maximum sentence on the appellant, who has no previous record criminal of conviction, when there are options to impose a lesser sentence by the provisions of the ADCJA.

“The sentence imposed by the trial court against the appellant is punitive contrary to the mandatory provisions of the law on sentencing.

“The appellant has suffered a miscarriage of justice by the maximum sentence imposed by the learned trial court.

“The reasons adduced by the learned trial court for the imposition of maximum punishment on the appellant, which is essentially on what foreigners think of abuse of naira, is perverse and is out of tune with the reality of what the trial court should have been considered to impose maximum punishment on the appellant.

“The intendment of the provisions of the Central Bank Act 2007 that the appellant was charged with is for Nigerians not to tamper with naira and not what nationals of foreign countries view about tampering with naira.

“The trial court did not consider the positive antecedent of the appellant, who did not waste the precious judicial resources of the trial court when he pleaded guilty to the charge. The appellant honoured the invitation of the respondent, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on the first invitation during the investigation leading to the charge.

“The trial court failed to exercise his discretion judiciously and judicially in sentencing the appellant which has occasioned a miscarriage of justice against the appellant.”

 

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