About a week ago, controversial music act Azeez Fashola better known as Naira Marley was arraigned by EFCC and made appear in court for advanced fee-fraud.
Recall the rapper alongside Zlatan Ibile and three of their associates were nabbed following their controversial support for fraudulent practices among young Nigerians. It was reported that electronic devices belonging to the parties were confiscated during the bust, prompting the agency to launch strict investigations into their activities.
As you read this, Naira Marley will be appearing in court today, May 30, 2019 where we’ll get to know the final outcome of his bail hearing.
We’ve however gathered that the ‘Am I a Yahoo boy’ crooner will likely be granted bail by the trial judge today. It has also been observed that all hands are on deck by his legal team to ensure that the bail condition is met as soon as it is stated.
A lawyer who chose to remain anonymous spoke to BlackBox Nigeria about the troubled rapper. He revealed that the internet fraud charges against Naira Marley although quite serious was actually a ‘bailable’ offence. He however added that the bail conditions might however be very stringent depending on the fight put up by EFCC’s prosecution lawyers.
Another lawyer, Jide Abiodun also agreed that he will likely get bail based on the current charges.
“Yes he probably will. Bail is always at the discretion of the court. The offense is a bailable offence and so there should be no cause for alarm,” Barrister Abiodun revealed.
He however believes Naira Marley might not be able to go home today even if he gets granted bail by the court.
According to Barr. Abiodun, “What might prevent him from going home today is the likely conditions of bail. When a defendant has been granted bail by the court upon and premised on some conditions to be fulfilled, not until those conditions are fulfilled, he would still remain in custody. His International passport is likely to be seized pending the determination of the charge against him, and might be released to him whenever he requests same through a proper application to court in case of emergency or necessity.”
He also gave a case study to back up his legal opinion…
“Under the Nigeria Law, bail is a right of an accused person. An accused person is not usually denied bail, except where the offence is a capital offence. Bolakale vs. State (2002) 1 NWLR (Pt.962) page 507.” Per NDUKWE-ANYANWU, J.C.A. (P.5, Paras.F-G).”
Meanwhile, with the singer’s current situation with EFCC and case still in court, Nigerian have predicted the singer might be going to jail afterall; seeing the fact that his friends Zlatan and Raman Jago were released on bail, Marley’s management had earlier released an official press statement to help fans and concerned citizens know the fate of the embattled singer.
“The current situation with Naira Marley is extremely unfortunate. On May 10th, 2019, Naira Marley was arrested in the early early hours of his birthday.
“We heard there had been complaints and concerns around his recent comments around cybercrime, Naira did not publicly defend those who commit fraud, he expressed his view on the situation which was simply his opinion in which every human being is entitled to.
“Following on from this, he innocently made a playful, reactive song “am i a yahoo boy?” in response to the growing feed-backs he received. As an artiste, music is Naira’s avenue of expressing himself, the song “am i a yahoo boy?” is a rhetorical question, assuming people would find it humourous as well as be a light-hearted response to those tackling him online. He is not a yahoo boy!
“Naira Marley is a hardworking artiste who has turned his back on crime and focuses solely on music. He’s an artiste, father and most importantly a human being.
“He has been making music for a while but recently became popular after the success of “Issa Goal,” a song which celebrated Nigeria and the nation’s contribution in sport.
“Music is his passion, entertainment is his career and the only way he makes his earnings. Naira Marley does not practice fraud neither does he facilitate it.
“Naira Marley isn’t just an artiste in the public eye, he is a human being with rights. At present, his basic human and civic rights are being violated. The EFCC are yet to find “hard evidence.”
“His reputation is being tainted and he’s been used as the poster boy for fraud. Cyber-crime is a serious issue in Nigeria and is something the government is actively tackling, as they should, however, their efforts to persecute Naira is based on a cheeky song and questionable items found on a borrowed item isn’t fair.
“Naira Marley was found with an item that does not belong to him. Items retrieved were borrowed so he can upload music, videos and records whilst visiting Nigeria.
“Naira does not believe he is above the law, he made a few comments that did not sit well with the authorities and they are using him as a scapegoat to show their strict stance on cyber-crime. Naira has been in custody for over five days.
“Naira Marley is an artiste that speaks for the street, those who do not have a voice, not only in Nigeria but in the UK also. Although his messages may come across misconstrued, he loves his country, he cares for his people and wants people to feel free and happy when they listen to his music.
“We are all entitled to freedom of speech and to express ourselves creatively. No one should be penalized for it even when it’s a controversial topic. The real criminals of Nigeria should be the focus and not an individual who is bringing positive attention to Nigerian music and culture internationally.
“Our lawyers are working diligently to prove his innocence and have him set free. There is a lot of false information circulating around and we have released this statement to set the records straight.
“However, the EFCC are still investigating. This is a very sensitive topic and a public case. We ask that the media report accurately as false claims can harm his reputation and lively hood.
“Thanks to everyone for their continued support, to the Marlians, Naira is lucky to have you, please continue to show your support for him. We hope to have this situation resolved and Naira is released soon.
Kind regards, management.”
We’ll bring you more details as the case unfolds.
Kindly share your thought in the comment box below.
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