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Opinion

Bobrisky will serve jail term in male prison, not female – Court

Idris Okuneye (also known as Bobrisky), a convicted cross-dresser, was given a six-month prison sentence for abusing the Naira by a Federal High Court in Lagos State on Friday. The cross-dresser was not given the option to pay a fine by the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought charges against Bobrisky. After he entered a guilty plea, the court found him guilty on April 5 but deferred the sentencing until April 9. The EFCC was to hold Okuneye until his sentencing, per the court’s decision.

However, the case could not proceed as planned because the Federal Government declared April 9, 10, and 11 to be public holidays.

Judge Abimbola Awogboro condemned the prisoner on Friday without giving him the chance to pay a fine. According to the judge, the imprisonment would take effect from the date of the cross dresser’s arrest. Okuneye was taken away by EFCC operatives immediately after his sentencing.

On April 4, the EFCC had charged Okuneye on six counts. The accusation was close to money laundering and Naira mutilation. As a result, on April 5, he was arraigned and entered a guilty plea to the first four counts. On the EFCC’s request, the court dismissed the final two counts.

On April 5, Mr. Bolaji Temitope, an Assistant Suprintendant of the EFCC and prosecution witness, testified in court and described the events leading up to Okuneye’s prosecution.

Following a review of the case’s facts, Mr. Suleiman Suleiman, the EFCC’s attorney, asked the judge to find the cross-dresser guilty.

the offences in Circle Mall, Jakande, Lekki, Lagos State, on March 24. According to the commission, Okuneye tampered with the total amount of N400,000 by spraying it while dancing at a social gathering. According to the EFCC, Okuneye also sprayed different amounts of money at several events in 2022 and 2023, including N20,000 and N50,000.
The charges violate both Section 19 of the Money Laundering Act of 2022 and Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) announced that Bobrisky would be kept in the facility’s male division after the court sentenced him. Social media users debated Bobrisky’s conviction and the harshness of the punishment given for his crime. The Nigerian Correctional Service provided clarification 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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