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Naira Marley's Fraud Trial; Court Admits More Evidence

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday admitted an optical disc in evidence in the ongoing trial of popular Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola alias ”Naira Marley”.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 14, 2019, charged the singer, with 11 counts, bordering on conspiracy, possession of counterfeit credit cards and fraud. 

One Yad Isril, who is said to be at large, was also named in the charge Fashola, who sang the popular song: “Am I a Yahoo Boy?”, was arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he pleaded not guilty. The court had granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum. 

 On Wednesday, the court ruled on the admissibility of an evidence tendered through a prosecution witness after counsel had argued for against its admissibility. 

 In his ruling, Justice Nicolas Oweibo admitted the evidence which is a CD containing phone analysis of the defendant tendered through the witness

 The court admitted the evidence on the grounds that the iPhone which was analysed had already been admitted in evidence before the court.

 The court consequently, overruled the earlier objection of defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, SAN, to the admissibility of the document and marked the same as exhibit F.  

“l have considered the agreement of both parties as well as the ground for the objection, I consider the C.D to be admissible in view of the nature of this case and the evidence of other prosecution witnesses.

 “Accordingly, it is hereby admitted in evidence and marked exhibit F.” the court held. 

 Meanwhile, the trial could not continue on Wednesday, as the defence counsel had sought for an adjournment.

 The adjournment was not opposed by the prosecution. 

 Justice Oweibo consequently, adjourned continuation of trial until March 8 and 11 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 Access Bank credit card number 5264711020433662, issued to another person, in a bid to obtain fraudulent financial gains. 

The EFCC also said that he possessed counterfeit credit cards belonging to different people, with intent to defraud which amounted to theft.

 The anti-graft agency said the offence, contravened the provisions of sections 123 (1) (b), 27 (1) and 33(9) of Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.

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