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Popular Nollywood actress sent to jail for spraying, stepping on naira notes

After being caught on camera last year treading on and spraying newly issued naira notes, a Nigerian actress was found guilty of tampering with the currency and was given a six-month prison sentence.

As a video of Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin attending a party became viral online, she was taken into custody in Lagos in February of last year.

The Nollywood actress was also spotted showing off freshly redesigned wads of cash.

According to the authorities, she amended her first not guilty plea to guilty.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the nation’s anti-fraud agency, alleged that the Nollywood actor was caught on camera dancing at a friend’s wedding in Lekki, Lagos, a year ago, with notes totaling 100,000 naira ($83; £66).

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.

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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.

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