Naira Marley’s Cybercrime Case, Trial Adjourned to November Following His Absence

The trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola, widely known as Naira Marley, on charges related to cybercrime has been further adjourned by a Federal High Court in Lagos. Justice Nicholas Oweibo set the new trial dates for November 13 and 30, owing to the defendant’s non-appearance in court.

Naira Marley, who gained fame with the song “Am I a yahoo Boy?,” was charged with cybercrime by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 14, 2019. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On May 20, 2019, Naira Marley was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who granted him bail of two million naira and required two sureties to stand in for him. The trial has been ongoing since then.

On October 6, Justice Oweibo issued a warrant for the defendant’s production after he failed to appear in court on the previous trial date. The warrant followed a request for a production warrant by the prosecution, represented by Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari.

Naira Marley was also detained by the police in Lagos in connection with the death of Nigerian artist Oladimeji Aloba, known as “Mohbad.”

During the recent court session, the defense counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court of the defendant’s continued absence, despite the court’s production warrant.

In response, the prosecutor stated that, although they had requested a production warrant, the defendant was still not present. The court, therefore, adjourned the case until November 13 and 30 to continue the trial.

The EFCC alleges that Naira Marley committed the cybercrime offenses on various dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as on May 10, 2019. The charges revolve around Naira Marley and his associates allegedly conspiring to use Access Bank ATM cards for fraudulent activities. The EFCC accuses Naira Marley of using someone else’s bank credit card to obtain fraudulent financial gains and possessing counterfeit credit cards belonging to different individuals with the intent to defraud, which constitutes theft.

The charges filed against Naira Marley are in violation of the provisions of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015, specifically Sections 1, 23 (1) (b), 27 (1), and 33(9).

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