Naira Marley’s cyber crime trial stalled as Federal court fails to assemble

The trial judge is said to be attending a judges’ conference.

The trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley charged with cyber crime, was on Monday, stalled before a Federal Court Lagos, as the court did not sit.

The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Owiebo is said to be attending a judges’ conference. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the defendant on charges bordering on cyber crime.

The anti-graft agency preferred the charges on May 14, 2019. Fashola, who sang the popular song: “Am I a yahoo boy”, was consequently, arraigned on May 20, 2019 before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he pleaded not guilty.

The court had accordingly, granted him bail in the sum of two million naira, with two sureties in like sum. Trial has since commenced in the case and still ongoing.

On October 6, Justice Oweibo had issued a warrant for production of the defendant, following his absence from trial on the last date . Oweibo’s order, followed an application for production warrant by the prosecution, Bilikisu Buhari.

NAN recalls that the police in Lagos had detained Naira Marley and his associate, Sam Larry, in connection with death of Nigerian artiste, Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as “Mohbad”. At the last adjourned date on October 30, defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN) had informed the court that the defendant was still clearly absent from court inspite of the court’s order for his production.

The court had consequently, adjourned the case until November 13 and 30 for continuation of trial Trial will now continue on the next date November 30. According to the EFCC, the defendant committed the offences on different dates between November 26, 2018 and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.

The commission alleged that Fashola and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud their victims. It alleged that the defendant used a bank credit card issued to another person, in a bid to obtain fraudulent financial gains.

The EFCC also said that the defendant possessed counterfeit credit cards belonging to different people, with intent to defraud which amounted to theft. The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1) and 33(9) of Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.

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