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EFCC to arraign Cubana Chief Priest over naira abuse

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign popular Instagram celebrity Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, for alleged abuse of naira.

Mr Okechukwu faces three charges filed by the EFCC on 4 April.

He is set to appear for arraignment before the trial judge, Kehinde Ogundare, of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, Leadership newspaper reported.
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EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who filed the charges, accused Mr Okechukwu of tampering with N500 notes during various social events.

The scheduled arraignment of the Instagram personality is coming days after the EFCC said many celebrities would soon be prosecuted for naira abuse.

The commission said this in a statement on Sunday, days after securing the conviction of popular crossdresser, Bobrisky, jailed for the same crime on Friday.

The Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced Bobrisky to six months in jail without an option of fine for naira abuse.

The judge, Abimbola Awogboro, imposed the sentence after the controversial crossdresser pleaded guilty to the alleged offenses.

This followed his earlier arrest by the EFCC.

Vowing on Sunday that no one found culpable will be spared, the commission said it “will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations, and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime.”

Since the arrest of Bobrisky, whose real name is Idris Okunneye, earlier this month, many Nigerians on social media platforms have tagged the EFCC in various posts of video clips capturing worse cases of naira abuse by other celebrities.

The EFCC acknowledged a surge in the sharing of old and new video clips of such naira abuse in the statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Sunday.

It said some celebrities, whose identities it did not disclose, had been invited for investigations and made useful statements.

Charges against Cubana Chief Priest

Count 1 of the charge stated, “that you, Okechukwu Pascal on 13th Feb. 2024, at Eko Hotel, within the jurisdiction of the court, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours, and you thereby committed an offense, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.”

In count 2, it was alleged, “that you Okechukwu Pascal sometime in 2020, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours, and you thereby committed an offense, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.”

The third count of the charge against the celebrity alleged “that you Okechukwu Pascal sometime in January 2024, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same and you thereby committed an offense, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.”

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