Cubana Chief Priest: Court Grants Ten Million Naira Bail in Naira Abuse Case

A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted bail to Nigerian businessman Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, in a case involving alleged Naira Abuse. The court set his bail at N10 million. Cubana Chief Priest was charged with tampering with Naira notes during a social event at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned him on a three-count charge for allegedly spraying and tampering with Naira notes, which contravenes the provisions of section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act of 2007.

During the court session, the prosecution was represented by Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari, while Mr. Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN) appeared for the defendant. The defence counsel raised a preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction and filed a bail application on behalf of the defendant, which was not opposed by the prosecution.

The defence counsel argued for bail on liberal terms, citing the defendant’s health condition and status as a first-time offender with no past criminal records. He also highlighted that the defendant is an employer of over 1,000 people, whose livelihoods depend on their jobs.

In response, the prosecutor left the issue of bail to the court’s discretion. Justice Kehinde Ogundare granted bail to Cubana Chief Priest in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be civil servants of level 16 and one of them must be a landowner within the court’s jurisdiction.

The court ordered Cubana Chief Priest to submit his international passport to the court’s registry and directed that the bail conditions be perfected within seven days. Failure to meet the conditions would result in the defendant being sent to the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

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The court adjourned the case until May 2 for the hearing of the preliminary objection. This development comes after the EFCC recently secured the conviction of popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky, on similar charges, for which he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

The court’s decision to grant bail to Cubana Chief Priest underscores the legal process’s commitment to fairness and justice, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their status, are accorded their rights under the law.

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