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Naira Marley: Cybercrime Trial Faces Delay as Controversial Artist misses Court Date

The ongoing trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, faced a setback as his absence in court stalled proceedings before the Federal High Court in Lagos. The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, adjourned the case until November 13 and 30 to allow for the continuation of the trial

Naira Marley, charged with cybercrime, had been detained by the Lagos police along with his associate, Mr. Sam Larry, in connection with the death of Nigerian artiste Oladimeji Aloba, also known as “Mohbad.” The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting him on charges related to cybercrime.

Fashola, who gained fame for his song “Am I a Yahoo Boy,” was arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Justice Oweibo, where he pleaded not guilty. He was granted bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties of the same amount. The trial had commenced, but his absence led to the issuance of a production warrant by Justice Oweibo on October 6.

During the recent court appearance, Naira Marley’s lawyer, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court about the defendant’s continued absence despite the production warrant. The prosecutor, Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari, confirmed the absence and requested a further date to follow up with the police, leading to the adjournment of the case until November 13 and 30.

The EFCC alleges that the defendant committed the offenses on different dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019. According to the commission, Fashola and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud their victims.

The charges include using a bank credit card issued to another person to obtain fraudulent financial gains and possessing counterfeit credit cards belonging to different individuals with the intent to defraud, which constitutes theft.

These alleged offenses contravene the provisions of Sections 1 23(1)(b), 27(1), and 33(9) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015. The case continues with the next hearings scheduled for November 13 and 30.

IMAGE: Crime facts

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