Naira abuse: Celebrity Barrister Faults EFCC Arrest of Bobrisky, Others


Lawrence Nwimo, Awka

A human rights activist and philanthropist, Barr Anthony Kelechi Agbasiere popularly known as ‘Celebrity Barrister’ has described the clampdown on some Nigerians for publicly abusing the naira and spraying of naira notes as a misplacement of priority.

Top Nigerian celebrities including Idris Okuneye, a popular cross-dresser known as Bobrisky, and Cubana Chief Priest have recently been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for flouting the naira law, with the former facing a six-month prison term.

Agbasiere who spoke to journalists at the birthday celebration of the Managing Director and CEO of Pool King Estate, Hon & Mrs Gabriel Chukwunwendu, in Awka, Anambra State capital, faulted the anti-graft agency for prioritizing the arrests, adding that it is neither the major problem facing the country, not contributed to the devaluation of the country’s currency.

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He said: “A lot of people have been arrested for spraying naira. My take on it is that this is not the major problem we are facing. There is no way the spraying of money has contributed to the devaluation of the naira.

“I have not seen the essence of that law. Everything should have a reason. I don’t see any essence of that law. Money is sprayed everywhere in the world; even in the United States of America, dollar with it’s higher value is sprayed.

“The National Assembly members are just there wasting energy on unnecessary things. This is a clear misplacement of priority. They should focus on the laws that would move this country forward.

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“I had advocated and challenged that if the leaders are patriotic as they claim, let them pass laws that would make election rigging a capital offense, diversion of public fund capital offense, an d with these two laws alone, Nigeria would be better.

“Spraying money in public should not be an issue, they should stop all those things. If they want to solve a problem it should be done from the root which is preventing people from stealing Public money. They should channel their satellite into banks because a lot of things are happening there.

“Spraying money on people is a way of showing appreciation to a celebrant or a person who is doing something good, so government should stop harassing people for that.”

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The legal expert advocated for the enactment of laws that would give solution to the economic hardship, corruption and other crimes that are derailing progress of the country.

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