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Cubana Chief Priest Pleads Not Guilty, Granted N10m Bail | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Apr 17, 2024

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State has granted businessman and socialite, Pascal Okechukwu a.k.a Cubana Chief Priest, N10 million bail with two sureties in like sum.

The celebrity bar man pleaded not guilty to tampering and abusing the naira.

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

Cubana Chief Priest was arraigned before Justice Kehinde Ogundare on three counts of spraying and tampering with Naira notes during a social event, contrary to the provisions of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

He was alleged to have sprayed the naira on February 13, 2024, at Eko Hotel.

Cubana Chief Priest was said to have also committed the offences while dancing during a social event.

He was said to have tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 notes issued by the CBN by spraying the same for two hours.

In the charge marked FHC/L/ 246/2024, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that sometime in 2020, during a social event in Lagos, Cubana Chief Priest tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, by spraying the same for two hours.

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.

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.

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.

The EFCC, on April 5, 2024, secured the conviction of popular cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky, on similar charges for which he was sentenced to six-month imprisonment on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Earlier on Sunday, the EFCC revealed that it was probing several celebrities over alleged abuse of Naira notes.

In a statement, its spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said, “Many of them have made useful statements to the commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter.

“The EFCC 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.”

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