Alleged Cyber Fraud: Naira Marley’s Trial Stalled

Written by on October 23, 2019

The trial of Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley failed to start today at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

This is because his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, just filed an application asking the Economic and Financial Crimes, (EFCC) to make available to the defendant, the statements of its prosecution witnesses.

The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, raised objections to this application and insisted that this was not the proper procedure according to law.

The court listened to the arguments on the application and held that “It must be borne in mind that the trial in the Federal High Court is a summary trial and therefore the proof of evidence is not required. However, the prosecution should furnish the defendants with the investigative officers’ report and the statements of witnesses if any”.

Justice Oweibo then adjourned the case till tomorrow, Oct 22 for trial.

Naira Marley is popularly known for his “Am I a Yahoo Boy” and “Soapy” tracks, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud.

His co-defendant, one Yard Isril is said to be on the run.

Marley was however arraigned alone on May 20 before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but pleaded not guilty.

Following an application by his counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, (SAN), the court granted him bail in the sum of N2 million bail with two sureties in the like sum.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Yard Isril (still at large), on or about the 26th day of November 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use access card 5264711020433662 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“If convicted on the charge, the musician shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act”.

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