*Inibehe Effiong: Suggests Bobrisky Was Singled Out Among Others Engaging in Naira Mutilation

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.”

Also, a Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, says controversial cross-dresser and social media celebrity, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, will have a difficult experience in prison.

According to Effiong, Bobrisky is not a freedom fighter and does not seem like someone who could stay in a restricted environment under harsh and excruciating conditions.

In a post on his X handle, Effiong suggested that he would begin to adjust to his new world after a few days.

He said: “Bobrisky will have a difficult experience in the Custodial Centre (prison) because he is not a freedom fighter and does not seem to me like someone that can stay in a restricted environment under harsh and excruciating conditions.

“The main key to surviving imprisonment is mental strength and courage.

The prison wall only breaks those who are not driven by strong convictions.

“For a freedom fighter, it is a training ground. No true activist goes to prison and comes out weaker. They always come out stronger and bolder. History shows this clearly. Any activist who is broken by imprisonment is a pretender.

If you are all about the ‘soft life’, and you are the fragile type and incapable of enduring physical discomfiture, you should avoid imprisonment.

Some of us came out stronger after our imprisonment because we have always been mentally prepared for it and due to our strong ideological disposition.

“Bobrisky will be confronted by a culture shock when he enters Ikoyi Prison and realizes that it is a different world from what he knows.

“After a few days, he will begin to adjust to his new world.”

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