May 20, 2024

Nigerian Senator Caught On Camera ‘Spraying’ Naira Notes At Event

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 …As coalition petitions EFCC over abuse

By EDITOR

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A coalition of civil society groups under the umbrella of the Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Senator Monday Okpebholo, senator representing Edo Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly,  caught on video ‘spraying’ naira notes.

Senator Okpebholo is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 21 gubernatorial election in Edo State.

The groups, which supported their petition with video evidence, accused Senator Okpebholo of abusing naira notes by spraying the currency at a public event, the same action that sent popular Nigerian cross-dresser, Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, popularly known as Bobrisky to six months in prison in Lagos.

The groups in a petition dated May 2, 2024, signed by National Coordinator Comrade Victor Kalu and National Secretary Alhaji Ali Abatca, and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, highlighted the offence of naira abuse and mutilation.

The coalition cited the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act of 2007, which declares such an action as a punishable offence.

The groups reminded the anti-graft agency that the CBN Act of 2007 provides that spraying, dancing, or marching on the naira during social occasions is a clear violation of the law.

The groups expressed disappointment that prominent individuals, including lawmakers, have violated the provision of the CBN Act and demanded that all individuals captured in viral videos abusing the naira should be promptly arrested and brought to justice, as “no one is above the law.”

The coalition said, “In light of these demands, the coalition called upon the EFCC and other law enforcement agencies to investigate the viral video involving Senator Monday Okpebholo, who is seen engaging in Naira abuse and mutilation.”

The groups stressed that they believe that Senator Okpebholo should be held accountable for his actions as a representative of the people.

The petitioners warned that failure to address the viral video involving Senator Okpebholo would result in them taking further action.

They threatened to mobilise their members, supporters, and democracy advocates for a peaceful protest against the EFCC if there is selective action and bias.

They also threatened to take legal action against the EFCC for negligence in the face of undeniable evidence and to seek a judicial interpretation of Section 21 (3) of the CBN Act 2007 (As Amended) as it pertains to the video evidence of Senator Okpebholo abusing and defacing the naira.

Recalled a Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced popular crossdresser and socialite Bobrisky to six months in jail without the option of a fine over naira abuse.

Bobrisky has since appealed against the sentence, asking the court to convert his imprisonment to a fine of N200,000.

Also recalled  in April reported how a popular socialite and businessman, Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos State for the same offence.

The court later granted Cubana Chief Priest bail at the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum after he pleaded not guilty to the allegation of tampering and abusing the Naira during his trial.

He was accused of spraying and tampering with the naira at a social event contrary to the provisions of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

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