Monday, May 20, 2024
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Naira abuse: Cubana Chief Priest, EFCC will settle out of court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and celebrity barman, Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, have reached an agreement to settle the naira abuse charge out of court.

The out-of-court settlement was disclosed when the proceedings resumed on Thursday.

Cubana Chief Priest appeared before Justice Kehinde Ogundare, facing three counts related to abusing the national currency at a social gathering.

These actions violate the Central Bank Act of 2007.

He allegedly sprayed and tampered with the naira notes during a social event at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him and was granted bail in the sum of N10m.

Justice Ogundare gave Okechukwu seven days to perfect the bail conditions, saying if he failed to perfect the bail conditions within seven days, he would be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Service.

The judge then adjourned the case until May 2, 2024, for a hearing of the preliminary objection and trial.

When the matter was called on Thursday, Cubana Chief Priest’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN) informed the court that the parties are exploring settlement and have applied that the matter be settled under the provisions of Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

EFCC’s prosecution counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, confirmed that the parties were discussing a settlement and that the application was still being considered.

EFCC had, during arraignment, told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on February 13, 2024, by spraying the Naira at the Eko Hotel while dancing during a social event.

The commission also told the court that Cubana Chief Priest, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying the same for two hours.

According to the anti-graft agency, the offence committed is contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

In a related incident, cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, was sentenced to six months imprisonment in April without the option of a fine for abusing naira.

(PUNCH)

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