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Nollywood Actress Bags Six Months in Prison for Naira Notes Abuse

Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin. Photo Source: @officialEFCC

Nollywood actress Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin has been sentenced to six months in prison for spraying and stepping on new Naira notes at a friend’s wedding party a year ago (precisely January 28, 2023).

The Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos, presided over by Justice Chukwujekwe Aneke, convicted and passed a sentence on the actress on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Omoseyin was given an option of paying a fine worth N300,000 in place of serving jail time. The fine is to be paid into the coffers of the consolidated revenue account of Nigeria.

The first-time offender and mother of one, Omoseyin, was arrested exactly a year ago by officers of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). This was following an online video that had showed the actress spraying and stepping on the newly issued Naira notes, an act that is against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulations.

On February 13, 2023, she was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on two-count charges. She was further granted bail on February 15, 2023.

Initially, Omoyesin pleaded not guilty to the crime but changed her plea to “guilty” when enormous evidence – videos and forensic reports – were presented by the prosecution counsel.

The actress claimed that it was her fans at the party who had given her the money which she sprayed at the party. However, she said she wasn’t familiar with the persons who gave her the money.

This development highlights the Nigerian judiciary’s stance against the abuse of currency notes. Spraying of Naira notes is an offence punishable by imprisonment in Nigeria, as seen in Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.

The full Section reads:

(1) A person who tampers with a coin or note issued by the Bank is guilty of an offence and shall on notes and coins imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N50,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

(2) A coin or note shall be deemed to have been tampered with if the coin or note has been impaired, diminished or lightened otherwise than by fair wear and tear or has been defaced by stumping, engraving, mutilating, piercing, stapling, writing, tearing, soiling, squeezing or any other form of deliberate and willful abuse whether the coin or note has or has not been thereby diminished or lightened.

 

(3) For the avoidance of doubt, spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section.

 

(4) It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.

 

(5) In this section——

(i) “Matching” includes spreading scattering or littering of any surface with any Naira notes or coins and stepping thereon, regardless of the value, volume, occasion or intent.

 (ii) “Spraying” includes adorning, decorating or spraying anything or any person or any part of any person or the person of another with Naira notes or coins or sprinkling or sticking of the Naira notes or coins in a similar manner regardless of the amount, occasion or the intent.

 

 

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