By Abimbola Ogunnaike
A Nigerian actress named Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin has been sentenced to six months imprisonment by a Federal High sitting in Lagos for spraying and stepping on the new naira notes at a social event in Lagos State.
The court presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke handed down the judgment on Omoseyin on Thursday, 1 February, 2024.
The convict was first arraigned on February 13, 2023, by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,( EFCC), on two-count charges, to which she pleaded “not guilty,” just as he was subsequently granted bail on February 15, 2023.
One of the charges 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, whilst dancing during a social occasion, tampered with the sum of 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, 2007.”
However, during the resumed hearing on Thursday, Omoseyin, a mother of one, changed her “not guilty” plea to “guilty” in view of the overwhelming evidence against her.
Following her “guilty plea”, the prosecution counsel, Z.B. Atiku called Abubakar Mohammed Marafa, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts of the matter.
“The defendant was arrested by officers of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on February 1, 2023, and was handed over to the Commission on February 2, 2023, for further investigation,” Marafa recalled:
According to him, the defendant’s statement was taken under caution, where she stated that she attended a friend’s wedding on January 28, 2023, and that she sprayed N200 and N100 naira notes on the occasion.
“The defendant was processed, and the videos of where she sprayed the money was found on her phone. Also, further investigations were carried out and the management of the event centre was invited. They also brought in the video footage of the said event,” Marafa said.
The prosecution counsel, thereafter, further applied to tender, in evidence, the letter from the ICPC and other accompanying documents, including the extra-judicial statement of the defendant, 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 statement of the representative of the centre.
Justice Aneke admitted them as exhibits and convicted the defendant, as charged.
The defence counsel, Afuye Adegbola, pleaded for leniency, saying, “She’s a first-time offender; she is a mother of one; she is remorseful and pleads for mercy.”
He further pleaded for a non-custodial sentence on behalf of the convict.
In his verdict, Justice Aneke sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment, effective from Thursday, with an option of a N300,000 (three hundred thousand naira only) fine to be paid into the consolidated revenue account of the federation.
Omoseyin bagged her imprisonment when she was arrested by operatives of the ICPC along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, after the video of her spraying and stepping on the newly redesigned Naira notes at a party surfaced online. In the viral video, she was also seen flaunting wads of the new naira notes.
According her statement to the commission, Omoseyin claimed that she received the new naira notes from her fans at the party and that she did not know the person who gave her the money.
Items recovered from her at the point of arrest include a Range Rover.