Nigeria: Alleged Fraud – Trial of Naira Marley Stalled

The trial of Nigerian singer Naira Marley could not proceed on Monday as earlier scheduled by a judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The trial of Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola, also known as, Naira Marley, charged with cybercrimes was, on Monday, stalled before at the Federal Court Lagos.

The proceedings could not go on because of the absence of the trial judge, Nicholas Oweibo, who was said to be attending a judges’ conference in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the defendant on cybercrime charges.

Mr Oweibo had on 6 October issued a warrant for the production of Mr Fashola, who is being held by the police in connection with the case involving the death of Nigerian artiste, Ilerioluwa Aloba, also known as Mohbad.

The judge’s order followed an application by the prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari.

Naira Marley was absent from court on 30 October despite the court’s earlier order for his production.

The defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), blamed the police for failing to produce the defendant as earlier ordered by the court.

The judge had then rescheduled the case for continuation of trial on 13 and 30 November.

EFCC had preferred the cybercrime charges involving credit card fraud against Naira Marley on 14 May 2019.

The ‘Am I a yahoo boy’ crooner, was subsequently arraigned on 20 May 2019. He pleaded not guilty. He was then granted bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

EFCC alleged that Naira Marley and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud their victims. They allegedly perpetrated the fraud on 26 November 2018 and 11 December 2018 as well as on 10 May 2019.

The prosecution 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 were said to 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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