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Currency hawker at event centre jailed six months, slapped with N897,900 forfeiture to FG

"The judge also ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to forfeit the N897,900 recovered from her"

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Guilt-racked Lagos woman, Adeyinka Bilikis Gbadamosi, who hawked and sold the nation’s currencies – the Naira – at an event centre in Lagos, is to cool her heels in prison for the next six months.

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, handed down the verdict after she pleaded guilty to a one-count charge bordering on currency racketeering slammed on her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Gbadamosi was arrested on April 27, 2024, while hawking Naira notes at 10 Degree Event Centre, Billings Way, Ikeja, Lagos, following credible intelligence received by the EFCC.

She was arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

The count reads: “That you, Adeyinka Bilikis Gbadamosi, on the 27th of April, 2024, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, engaged in hawking the total sum of N897,900 (Eight Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira) in N200 Naira note denomination, with serial numbers 688101 and N500 Naira note denomination, with serial numbers 315501 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2007.

Persecondnews reports that the currency hawker pleaded guilty to the charge at her arraignment.

Following her guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr. C.C. Okezie, called on Olagunju Abdul Malik, an EFCC operative, to review the facts of the case.

Abdulmalik informed the court that the Commission received credible intelligence that led to the defendant’s arrest on April 27, 2024, while he was hawking Naira notes at 10 Degree Event Centre, Billings Way, Ikeja, Lagos.

He said they retrieved N897,900 from her during her arrest.

“Upon her arrest by operatives, she was duly cautioned, and she volunteered her statements.

“In her statement, she confessed she was into currency racketeering and hawking of Naira notes,” he said.

Okezie then sought to provide evidence of the defendant’s extrajudicial statements and the money she recovered.

Justice Aneke admitted them, marked them as exhibits, and convicted the defendant.

Mr. A.A. Olawipo, the convict’s counsel, urged the court to give her a non-custodial sentence or the option of a fine.

Aneke sentenced the convict to six months imprisonment with an option of a fine of N50,000 (fifty thousand naira only).

The judge also ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to forfeit the N897,900 she had recovered.

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