Naira Abuse: Cubana Chief Priest Pleads Not Guilty, Granted ₦10m Bail

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Popular Instagram celebrity Pascal Okechukwu also known as Cubana Chief Priest has pleaded not guilty for alleged naira abuse.

He pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The socialite was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos before Justice Kehinde Ogundare on Wednesday.

The anti-graft commission filed a three-count charge against Cubana Chief Priest accused of abusing the naira at a social event, an act said to be contrary to the provisions of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

After he pleaded not guilty, the court granted him bail in the sum of ₦10m with two responsible sureties in like sum who must be gainfully employed with the federal or state government and not less than grade level 16.

The sureties are to have landed property and the document must be verified by the court.

Cubana Chief Priest is also to submit his travel passport to the custody of the court.

The bail conditions must be perfected within seven days but in the meantime he was released to his lawyer who must give an undertaken to produce him later. Failure to do so, he will be remanded in correctional facility.

A copy of the charge which was filed on April 4th by EFFC’s prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) alongside seven other lawyers representing the chairman of the Commission reveals the charges:

In Count 1, it was alleged, “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 offence, 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 offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007”.

In Count 3, it was 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 offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007”.

Meanwhile, the defendant also informed the court of his pending application to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to hear the charge.

Justice Ogundare has adjourned till May 2nd to hear the application.

This is coming days after the EFCC arraigned controversial cross-dresser Idris Okuneye better known as Bobrisky on similar charges for which he was sentenced to a six-month jail term.

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