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Nigerian actress Simi jailed for spraying naira

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Nigerian actress Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin grilled for spraying new naira notes

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Lagos Federal High Court has convicted and sentenced Nollywood actress Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, 32, to six months in prison for abusing Nigeria’s currency, the naira.

Justice Aneke ruled against the actress after she amended her plea to the two-count charge of tampering with N100,000.00 and spraying the naira at a social gathering.

It should be noted that the convicted actress, also known as Simi Gold, was apprehended by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Fraud Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on February 1, 2023, along Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, while spreading 1000 denomination naira notes at a party during a time when the country was experiencing currency scarcity.

Following her detention by the ICPC, she was turned over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which later charged her in court with tampering with N100,000.00 and spraying the naira at a social function, in February 2023.

She pled not guilty to the charges and was later granted bail under certain conditions.

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However, at Thursday’s resumed hearing on her charges, the actress informed the court that she intended to amend her plea.

As a result, the judge ordered that the charge be read to her so that a new plea could be entered.

Upon the re-reading of the charges to the convicted actress, she admitted committing the offences and pleaded guilty to the charges.

With her guilty plea, the court called on the prosecutor, Zainab Bala Atiku, to review the facts of the charge, which she did as well as tendered some exhibits, which were admitted by the court.

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The prosecutor after reviewing the facts of the charge and rendering the exhibits, urged the court to convict and sentence her by the sections of the acts she was charged with.

But the lawyer to the actress, Mr A. O. Afuye, in his allocution, among others, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client. Adding that the court should consider her change of plea as a sign of remorsefulness. And being a first-term offender, who did not have any previous conviction record.

Justice Aneke, in his judgment after listening to the counsel’s submissions, sentenced the actress to six months imprisonment.

The judge however ordered her to pay the sum of N300, 000, 00, instead of the jail term.

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Charges against the actress read: “That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin on the 28th day of January 2023 at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court whilst dancing during a social occasion tampered with the sum of N100, 000.00 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.

“That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin on the 28th day of January 2023 at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court whilst dancing during a social occasion tampered with the sum of N100,000.00 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by dancing on 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.”

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