Cubana Chief Priest in court, denies 3 count charge of Naira Abuse

Counsel also informed the court that the defendant is an employer of labour with over 1000 employees on his payroll, who are dependent on their jobs.

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Cubana Chief Priest in court, denies 3 count charge of Naira Abuse
Pascal Okechukwu a.k.a Cubana Chief Priest

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, arraigned a businessman Pascal Okechukwu, a.k.a Cubana Chief Priest, before a Federal High Court in Lagos over abuse of the Naira currency.

He was arraigned on three counts of spraying and tampering with the Naira notes during a social event at Eko hotel in Lagos.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari appeared for the prosecution while Mr Chikaosolu Ojukwu , SAN,  announced appearance for the defendant .

Naira abuse: Bobrisky jailed without fine option

The defence counsel then first informed the court of a preliminary objection challenging the courts jurisdiction as well as a bail application files on behalf of the defendant.

He informed the court that the prosecution was not opposed to same.

After the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In moving the bail application of the defendant, counsel urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms .

He told the court that the defendant was admitted by the prosecution following his health condition, adding that due to his weight, the defendabt suffers palpitation

Besides, he told the court that the offence with which the defendant is charged is a misdeamenour and that the prescribed punishment ranges from a fine of N50,000 or an imprisonment term of six months.

He urged the court to grant bail on very liberal terms to the defendant as he is a first offender with no past criminal records .

Counsel also informed the court that the defendant is an employer of labour with over 1000 employees on his payroll, who are dependent on their jobs.

He, consequently, urged the court to grant his application as moved

In response, the prosecutor said she will leave the issue of bail to the discretion of the court.

Bail granted…

After the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.

In moving the bail application of the defendant, counsel urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms .

He told the court that the defendant should be granted bail because of his health condition.

Besides, he told the court that the offence for which the defendant was being charged was a bailable one with the punishment either a fine of N50,000, or an imprisonment term of six months.

He also reminded the court that the defendant is a first offender with no past criminal records.

Counsel also informed the court that the defendant is an employer of labour with more than 1000 employees on his payroll.

He, consequently, urged the court to grant his application as moved.

In response, the prosecutor said she would leave the issue of bail to the discretion of the court.

Delivering judgment afterwards, Justice Kehinde Ogundare granted the defendant bail in the sum of 10 million with two sureties in like sum.

The court held that both sureties must be civil servants with level 16 as their minimum grades.

One of the sureties must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

“The court also ordered the defendant to submit his international passport to the court’s registry, and that the condition of bail be perfected within seven days.

It also ordered the defence counsel to produce the defendant for perfection of his bail conditions within the stipulated time, otherwise he would be sent to the custody of Nigerian Correctional Service.

The court then adjourned the case until May 2, for hearing of the preliminary objection.

In the charge, the defendant was said to have tampered with the notes in the denomination of N500, while dancing at the social event in Eko Hotel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offence contravenes the provisions of section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

The EFCC had, on April, secured the conviction of popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, alias Bobrisky, over similar charges.

Bobrisky was jailed six-month without a fine option.