The trial of Naira Marley, the Nigerian singer facing cybercrime charges, encountered a delay on Monday as the Federal Court in Lagos did not convene. The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Owiebo, was reportedly attending a judges’ conference.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Naira Marley on charges related to cybercrime, with the charges having been filed on May 14, 2019. Naira Marley, known for his popular song “Am I a Yahoo Boy?” pleaded not guilty when arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on May 20, 2019.
The court had granted him bail in the amount of two million naira with two sureties in like sum. The trial had commenced and was ongoing, but on October 6, Justice Oweibo issued a warrant for the production of the defendant due to his absence from the trial.
This warrant was issued following an application by the prosecution, Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari. Naira Marley and his associate, Sam Larry, had been detained by the Lagos police in connection with the death of Nigerian artist Oladimeji Aloba, also known as “Mohbad.”
At the last adjourned date on October 30, defense counsel Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) informed the court that the defendant remained absent despite the court’s order for his production. The court adjourned the case until November 13 and 30 for the continuation of the trial.
The EFCC alleges that Naira Marley committed the offenses on different dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019. The commission claims that Fashola and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud their victims, including using a bank credit card issued to another person to obtain fraudulent financial gains.
The EFCC further asserts that the defendant possessed counterfeit credit cards belonging to different people with the intent to defraud, constituting theft. These alleged offenses contravene the provisions of Sections 1, 23(1)(b), 27(1), and 33(9) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015. The trial is scheduled to continue on the next date, November 30.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.