Alleged cyber crime: EFCC’s suit against “Naira Marley” stalled

Naira Marley

The criminal trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley could not proceed before a Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday, following a pending application for fiat before the Chief Judge (CJ) of the court.

The trial judge, Justice Isaac Dipeolu, was informed by the prosecutor, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, that an application for fiat to enable the former judge continue with trial of the defendant, is already awaiting approval by the CJ of the court.

She said that the application is dated Dec. 8, 2023.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Naira Marley 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 Oweiboo, but he had pleaded not guilty.

Justice Oweibo 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 witnesses were still being led in evidence, but Justice Oweibo, who was later transfered out of the Lagos division of the court.

The case was therefore, transferred to a new judge Dipeolu.

When the case was called for the first time before Justice Dipeolu, Buhari appeared for the prosecution while Mr V.C Maduagwu, appeared for the defendant.

Defence counsel also confirmed the position as stated by the prosecutor to the court.

Following information of the pending application for fiat as brought to the attention of the new judge by counsel, the court consequently, adjourned the case until May 30 for report.

According to the EFCC, the defendant committed the offences on different dates between Nov. 26, 2018 and Dec.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. (NAN)