…as musician gets N2m bail, two sureties in like sum
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, sitting at a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Thursday adjourned the trail of Afeez Fashola, better known as Naira Marley, to October. According to the judge, while granting bail to him in the sum of N2 million, said the matter slated for accelerated hearing will hold on October 22, 23 and 24.
At the resumed hearing on his bail application, lead counsel of the musician, who arrived the courtroom in a black shirt and black jeans, Olalekan Ojo, urged the court to accept the bail application prima facie based on the presumption of his innocence in accordance with Section 162 (1).
In his response, the prosecution team led by Rotimi Oyedepo, said the temporary release of the singer is not what matters much to them but the final judgement in the case, praying that the court gives the case accelerated hearing rather than bail.
After listening to their arguments, the judge granted the “Am I a yahoo boy” singer, who is facing 11 counts bordering on cybercrime for allegedly conniving with one Yad Isril (at large) to use Access card issued to other persons in a bid to obtain gain, an offence contrary to Section 27(1) (b) of the Cybercrime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015, bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.
In a statement he submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following his arrest on May 10 along with fellow up-and-coming music act, Zlatan Ibile and others, Naira Marley said he was innocent of the charges.
A copy of his statement which was obtained by Punch reads: “My name is Azeez Fashola. I am married to two wives and I have four kids. They are all British citizens staying in the United Kingdom. I studied in the United Kingdom, started studying at Porlock Hall, then I moved to Walworth School where I received my GCSE.
“My results for my GCSE are English (C), Maths (B) and Science (C). I left Walworth School with my qualification and went further to study at Peckham Academy, where I got distinction in Business. Then, I went further to study at Crossways College where I finished my Business Law; but I had kids at that time, so I took a break and started making music till date.”
On his music activities so far, Naira Marley wrote further: “I started making music in 2014 individually (sic), but now I’m signed to Marathon, a United Kingdom-based record label. I had a deal with Coca-Cola for my song, “Issa Goal” in which I featured Olamide and Lil Kesh. I also had deals with Nike to participate in the Nigerian sportswear (sic).
“I’m in possession of a MacBook laptop, which I borrowed from a friend named Yad Isril in England, because while returning to Nigeria, I knew I was going to need a laptop to upload my music videos on YouTube and also to keep my exclusive songs. I’m in possession of the laptop but I have no idea what is on it apart from my music videos.”
However, EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, had said the anti-graft agency had overwhelming evidence of cybercrime against Naira Marley who was ordered to be remanded in Ikoyi Prison by Justice I.N. Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
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