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#Bobrisky’s Offence Should never Attract Custodial Measure!

ByNews Editor

Apr 13, 2024 ##Bobrisky

First off, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky’s lifestyle may be one that every Nigerian finds outlandish or ridiculous but one thing I would love to remind everyone is, he’s a human and a Nigerian first before becoming self-acclaimed transgender. And as such, there are some basic/fundamental human rights that come with being a human and a citizen of any Nation State, and we must learn to respect that.

Personally, I can never have anything against anybody who decides to tow a different social path for themselves because human brains, according to some renowned Scientists are wired differently. The reason humans tend to exhibit diverse personality traits, feelings, reactions, opinions to the world around them.

Having listened to several interviews of Bobrisky in the past, I learned a couple of reasons why he decided to tow a ‘wild path’ to fame. I think, he understands daring to be different would be the quickest path to fame and riches, which eventually pan out well for him.

Which I also want to assume no one is envious of, because no average Nigerian man would want to jettison his masculinity for fame and fortune under the watch of friends and family. That would be a rather tough decision to make here in Africa.

The quest to stand out among the crowd and be known must always come with a price whether we like it or not. Abraham Maslow, one of the propounder of theories around Human Behavior and Rewards, understood that human needs would always be triggered by something and for such needs to be met some specific actions must also be taken. That’s a simple analogy for what Bobrisky has done with himself.

Whether we admit it or not, Bobrisky is amongst the strongest social media personalities in Nigeria today. Yes, I would say that with my full chest anywhere. I personally admire his courage, resilience, consistency and determination in the face of bully, hate and pure disgusting comments that Nigerians throw at him everyday on social media.

Having been able to turn all these demeaning comments to some sort of blessings, will forever remain a case study, particularly for those who would love to do a research study on transgender spectrum.

Now to the main reason for this article, punishing Bobrisky by putting him behind bars for six months without any options of fine should never be the best way to correct for the said offense committed – Naira Mutilation.

For goodness sake, virtually all Nigerians are guilty of such offense at one point in their lives. And when I say all Nigerians, I mean the big wigs, politicians, celebrities who love to throw high octane parties and events in and outside Nigeria, lavishly spray crispy naira notes on music artistes without being arrested and thrown behind bars. Until last year, when a lady went viral for being arrested for similar offense.

One thing that keeps driving me nuts about Nigerian Justice System is, it would always work against the masses, the poor citizens and the selected individuals marked for deliberate punishment either by the power that be or to be used as a deterrnt or scape goat but work in favor of the rich and politicians.

And now I feel in Bobrisky’s case he might have fallen under the scape goat category. The reason, the justice didn’t work in his favor.

Yes, the Naira Mutilation is an offense punishable under the law, no doubt, but my grouse is that it is baseless to opt for the custodial measures in punishing the offender.

This is one of the reasons, The Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA 2015) was signed into law, to decongest prisons. Bobrisky’s Offence ought to have attracted non-custodial punitive measures instead of torturing him with six months Imprisonment.

Such non custodial measures could have been Community services such as cleaning the streets or weeding the public garden amongst others measures everyday for six months. The could have been better.

With this route of six months incarceration taken, by the court over the offense, the international communities already believed he was only being single out and punished for daring to be different as a transgender and for being within LGBTQ spectrum.

And lastly, just to correct some assumptions from some quarters, that #VeryDarkMan was behind Bobrisky’s incarceration. That is a big falsehood. Bobrisky was never the one behind VDM’s arrest Tonto Dike was. So they need to get that fact right and stop spreading false narrative.

By News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.