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Nollywood actress sentenced for stepping on naira notes

A Nigerian actress has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for tampering with the currency after she was filmed spraying and stepping on newly issued naira notes last year.

Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin was arrested last February in Lagos after the video of her at a party surfaced online.

The Nollywood star was also seen flaunting wads of the money that had just been redesigned.

She changed her initial not guilty plea to guilty, the authorities said.

The Nollywood star was filmed with 100,000-naira ($83; £66) worth of notes while dancing at a friend’s wedding in Lekki, Lagos a year ago, the country’s anti-fraud agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said.

In her statement to the commission, Omoseyin said she received the new naira notes from her fans at the party and that she did not know the people who gave her the money.

When she appeared in court on Thursday, Omoseyin pleaded guilty following “overwhelming” evidence against her, the EFCC said in a statement posted on X.

Through her lawyer, the actress pleaded for leniency, saying she was a first-time offender and a mother of one.

Omoseyin, who is popularly known as Simi Gold, further asked for a non-custodial sentence, according to EFCC.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment with an option to pay $250 fine.

It is not clear if the actress will appeal against the court ruling.

The incident happened at a time when there was a severe scarcity of naira cash following the controversial withdrawal of old 200, 500 and1,000 notes from circulation.

Last November, the country’s central bank said the old bank notes would remain legal tender, ending months of uncertainty.

Source: bbc.com

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