Bobrisky to serve jail term in male prison

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A Federal High Court in Lagos State, on Friday, sentenced convicted cross dresser, Idris Okuneye (alias Bobrisky), to six months in prison for abuse of the Naira. The court did not give the cross dresser an option of fine.

Bobrisky was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The court convicted him on April 5, following his guilty plea, but reserved sentence until April 9. The court had ordered Okuneye to be kept in the custody of the EFCC pending sentencing.

However, due to Federal Government’s declaration of April 9, April 10 and April 11 public holiday, the case could not proceed as scheduled.

On Friday, Justice Abimbola Awogboro sentenced the convict without an option of fine. The judge held that imprisonment would take effect from the date of the cross dresser’s arrest. Okuneye was taken away by EFCC operatives immediately after his sentencing.

The EFCC had, on April 4, filed a six-count charge against Okuneye. The charge bordered on Naira mutilation and money laundering. He was consequently arraigned on April 5 and he pleaded guilty to the first four counts. The court struck out the last two counts following an application by the EFCC.

 

On April 5, Mr Bolaji Temitope, a prosecution witness and Assistant Suprintendant of EFCC, gave evidence before the court and narrated the circumstances surrounding prosecution of Okuneye.

After review of the facts of the case, EFCC counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman, prayed the court to convict the cross dresser.

According to EFCC, Okuneye committed the offences on March 24, at Circle Mall, Jakande, Lekki, Lagos State. The commission stated that Okuneye tampered with the cumulative sum of N400,000 while dancing during a social event, by spraying same. Okuneye also sprayed various tranches of money such as N20,000 and N50,000 at various events in 2022 and 2023, according to EFCC.

The offences contravene Section 21(1) Central Bank Act of 2007 and Section 19 of Money Laundering Act of 2022.

Meanwhile, following his sentencing by the court, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) stated that Bobrisky would be housed in the male section of its facility. Bobrisky’s conviction sparked debate on social media, with some questioning the severity of the sentence for his offense. Despite the controversy, the Nigerian Correctional Service clarified that Bobrisky would serve his term in the male section of its custodial facility, according to standard procedure.

Bobrisky, known for his open discussion of gender transition online, stated his identity as male during court proceedings, which led to the decision to place him in a male-designated facility. “Since he admitted to being a male in court, then we have to abide by what was submitted in court,” a spokesperson for the correctional service in Lagos said.

Despite concerns about his safety related to his gender preference, correctional officers have assured that Bobrisky will receive adequate protection from potential harm. “He shouldn’t be afraid of sexual assault from other male inmates because our men can give him protection,” the spokesperson stated, addressing worries about his vulnerability.

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