Spraying fresh naira notes gets Nigerian actress six months jail term.

by Amos Kalu

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, sentenced actress Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin to six months in prison for spraying and walking on fresh naira notes during a Lagos State social event.

On February 13, 2023, the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned her on two counts. She pleaded “not guilty.”

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She received bail on February 15, 2023.

One charge 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, while dancing during a social occasion, tampered with N100,000 (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,

In light of the overwhelming evidence, Omoseyin amended her “not guilty” plea to “guilty” at the resumed hearing on Thursday.

Z.B. Atiku, the prosecution counsel, asked EFCC operative Abubakar Mohammed Marafa to assess the facts after her “guilty plea”.

Marafa said, “The defendant was arrested by officers of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on February 1, 2023, and handed over to the Commission on February 2, 2023, for further investigation.”

He said the defendant’s statement that she sprayed N200 and N100 naira notes at a friend’s wedding on January 28, 2023, was obtained under caution.

“The defendant was processed, and her phone had videos of where she sprayed the money. Further investigations and event centre management were requested. He said the event’s video was also presented.

The prosecution counsel then offered the ICPC letter and other documents, including the defendant’s extra-judicial statement, a forensic report of her phone, a CD of videos showing her spraying the naira note, a flash drive from the event centre, and the centre’s representative’s statement.

As charged, Justice Aneke admitted them as exhibits and convicted the defendant.

Afuye Adegbola, the defence attorney, said, “She’s a first-time offender; she is a mother of one; she is remorseful and pleads for mercy.”

He also requested a non-custodial sentence for the offender.

Justice Aneke sentenced the defendant to six months in prison, starting Thursday, with an option to pay a N300,000 fine into the federation’s consolidated revenue account.

After a video of Omoseyin spraying and stepping on the new Naira notes at a party went viral, ICPC agents detained her on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, Lagos. She displayed wads of fresh naira notes in the viral video.

She told the commission that her party fans gave her the fresh naira notes and that she did not know who gave them.

A Range Rover were discovered during her arrest.

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