Alleged Fraud: Court Grants Naira Marley’s Prayer, Adjourns to Oct. 23 for Trial

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday adjourned to October 23 to begin trial in the fraud allegation against musician, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley.

The trial which was scheduled to commence on Tuesday was adjourned following the ruling on the motion filed by the Defence, Mr. Olalekan Ojo SAN,.

In the motion the learned silk prayed Justice Nicholas Oweibo to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to furnish the defence with the prosecution witnesses’ statements.

“In the course of pre-trial preparation, it was discovered that certain documents which we require and to which prosecution made reference in their proof of evidence, are not available to us.” Ojo said.

Counsel to EFCC Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application for adjournment on the ground that the prosecution was not in possession of the required documents. He further argued that the defence was not entitled to the statements as of right.

The court overruled EFCC counsel and upon hearing the motion ordered the EFCC to provide the defence with its investigators’ statements.

The court held;  “In criminal trial, it must be borne in mind that criminal trial at the Federal High Court is summary trial, therefore proof of evidence is not required. However, the investigating officer’s report must be furnished to the defence and the statements of witnesses if any.”

He adjourned trial till Wednesday 23rd of October.

Fashola, popular for his “Am I a Yahoo Boy” and “Soapy” tracks, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud. His co-defendant is one Yad Isril, said to still be at large.

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The defendant was arraigned on May 20, 2019, but pleaded not guilty. He secured N2 million bail with two sureties in the like sum.

According to the charge, the defendant committed the offences on different dates including November 26, 2018, December 11, 2018, and May 10,

Fashola and his accomplices allegedly conspired to use different Access Bank ATM Cards to defraud their victims.

They allegedly used Access Card number 5264711020433662 issued to other persons, in a bid to obtain fraudulent financial gains.

Fashola was said to have possessed these counterfeit credit cards, belonging to different cardholders, with intent to defraud, and which also constituted theft.

The offences contravene the provisions of Section 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1}, 33, 33(9) Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.

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