- On a dramatic Monday in Ikoyi, Lagos, the Federal High Court hit the brakes and rescheduled Naira Marley's trial on charges of alleged internet fraud.
- The case hit a roadblock when the defendant failed to show up in court, prompting an adjournment because the police stood firm in their refusal to produce him.
In a Lagos Federal High Court on Monday, the trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, accused of cybercrime, was once again put on hold, with the new trial dates set for November 13 and 30.
The singer finds himself in the legal crosshairs, facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 11-count charges related to conspiracy and credit card fraud.
In the previous court session, Naira Marley's lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, revealed that the artist was conspicuously absent in court due to his detainment by the police, allegedly in connection with the unfortunate demise of Mohbad.
Ojo then prayed the court for an adjournment of the trial.
However, Bilkisu Buhari, the prosecution counsel, told the court to issue a production warrant against Naira Marley to ensure his presence on the next adjourned date.
Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, granted the prayers of the prosecution counsel and issued a production warrant against the defendant.
The judge later adjourned the case for continuation of the trial to October 30.
On Monday, the Lagos police, however, failed to provide the singer before the court.
Consequently, the presiding judge announced November 13 and 30 for the next hearings.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the defendant on charges bordering on cybercrime.
The anti-graft agency preferred the charges on May 14, 2019.
Naira Marley, who sang the popular song “Am I a yahoo Boy?”, was consequently arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he pleaded not guilty.
The court had accordingly granted him bail of two million naira, with two sureties in like sum.
The trial has since commenced in the case and is still ongoing.
Naira Marley — who is currently in police custody for interrogation — is a person of interest in the death of fast-rising singer Mohbad.
On October 4, a magistrate court sitting in Yaba held that Naira Marley be remanded for 21 days.