• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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EFCC arraigns Bobrisky for naira abuse, money laundering charges today

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Popular Nigerian social media personality Idris Okuneye, known as Bobrisky, is set to appear today before a Federal High Court in Lagos on charges of naira abuse and failing to declare his company’s financial activities.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a six-count charge against Bobrisky yesterday. The first four counts accuse him of naira abuse by “spraying” money at social events. The remaining counts allege money laundering related to his company, Bob Express.

The four counts were said to have contravened Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Act, 2007.

Naira abuse allegations

Bobrisky is accused of violating the Central Bank of Nigeria Act by “tampering with” naira notes on four separate occasions between July 2023 and March 2024. The EFCC alleges he sprayed a total of N490,000 at various social gatherings.

The six counts read in part: “That you, Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, on March 24, 2024, at Imax Circle Mall, Jakande, Lekki, whilst dancing during a social event tampered with the total sum of N400,000 notes by spraying the same.
“That you, Idris Okuneye, between July and August 2023 at Aja Junction, Ikorodu, whilst dancing during a social event tampered with the sum of N50,000, by spraying the same
“That you, Idris Okuneye, sometime in December 2023 at White Steve Event Hall, Ikeja, during a social event tampered with the sum of N20,000 by spraying same.
“That you, Idris Okuneye, sometime in 2022 at Event Hall, Oniru, Victory Island, within the jurisdiction of this court whilst dancing during a social event tampered with the sum of N20,000 by spraying same.”

Money laundering suspicions

The EFCC further alleges that Bobrisky, through his company Bob Express, failed to report a total of N180.7 million in transactions to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) between September 2021 and April 2024. This alleged failure to report suspicious activity violates Nigeria’s Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act.

Counts 5 and 6 read: “That you, Idris Okuneye, trading under the name and style of Bob Express, between September 1, 2021 to April 4, 2024, in Lagos, failed to submit to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, a declaration of your activities of the said company within which period the total sum of N127,780,877.98 was paid into the company’s account number 2830002929, domiciled in Eco Bank Plc.
“That you, Idris Okuneye, trading under the name and style of Bob Express between September 1, 2021 to April 4, 2024, in Lagos, failed to submit to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering a declaration of your activities of the said company within which period the total sum of N53,000,000 was paid into the company’s account number 2830016041, domiciled in Eco Bank Plc.”
Both alleged offences contravened sections 6(1)(a), 19(1)(f) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 and section 19 (2)(b) of the same Act.

Bobrisky’s detention and upcoming arraignment

The EFCC arrested Bobrisky on Wednesday and held him in custody. The agency’s investigation reportedly began after a video emerged showing Bobrisky spraying money at a movie premiere in Lagos on March 24th.

This case highlights the EFCC’s focus on curbing financial crimes in Nigeria, including naira abuse and money laundering. The arraignment will be the next step in the legal process, where Bobrisky will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.