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By Unini Chioma

Controversial cross-dresser/transgender, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, has appealed his conviction for abusing and mutilating the naira.

Bobrisky in his Notice of Appeal filed by his lawyer, Bimbo Kusanu, is praying the court to set aside the 6 months maximum imprisonment sentence imposed on him and in its place impose fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) on each of the counts against him.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro, of the Federal High Court, in Lagos had sentenced Bobrisky, to six months imprisonment without an option of fine for abusing Nigerian currency.

The judge while sentencing the convict, said the judgment should be a deterrent to others that are fond of abusing and mutilating the Naira.

Bobrisky pleaded guilty to a four-count charge of abuse of the naira preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at a Lagos court.

However, in his Notice of Appeal, the Appellant stated that the trial Court imposed the maximum sentence on him even though he has no previous record of criminal conviction, and when there are options to impose a lesser sentence by the provisions of the ADCJA.

He averred that the sentence imposed by the trial Court against him was punitive contrary to the mandatory provisions of the Law (ADCJA) 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 stated that the Appellant honoured the invitation of the Respondent- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the first invitation during the investigation leading to the charge.

Part of the decision of the lower court complained of are “The sentence of the Lower Court that imposed maximum penalty of 6-months imprisonment without option of fine on the Appellant who is a first time convict without previous record of criminal conviction.

“The Learned trial Judge erred in Law and in facts by his imposition of the maximum sentence of 6 Months imprisonment terms against the Appellant without option of fine contrary to the provisions of Section 416(2) d of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 (“ADCJA”) that prescribed the mandatory guidelines on the trial Court on imposition of sentencing after criminal conviction of a first time offender as the Appellant.

“That 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.

“That the Sentence imposed by the trial Court against the Appellant is punitive contrary to the mandatory provisions of the Law (ADCJA) on sentencing.

“That the Appellant has suffered 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.

“That 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 views 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-Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) 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 miscarriage of justice against the Appellant.”

Consequently, he urged the court to set aside the 6 months maximum imprisonment sentence imposed on him and in its place impose fine of N50,000 ( Fifty Thousand Naira) on each of the counts against the Appellant.

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