John Beloved

A federal high court in Lagos has adjourned the trial of Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, till Wednesday.

The adjournment follows a petition by Olalekan Ojo, his lawyer, requesting the court to allow the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) provide statements of its prosecution witnesses to the defendant.

Countering the application, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the anti-graft agency, said the defendant did not follow due process in making the petition.

The court sitting snowballed into a heated argument between counsels of the two parties.

In his judgement, Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, adjourned the case till October 23, to allow both parties substantiate their arguments.

“In criminal trial, it must be borne in mind that the trial in the Federal High Court is a summary trial and therefore the proof of evidence is not required. However, the prosecution should furnish the defendants with the investigative officers’ report and the statements of witnesses if any,” the presiding judge said before adjourning the trial.

The rapper is currently facing an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Yard Isril (still at large), on or about the 26th day of November 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use access card 5264711020433662 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“If convicted on the charge, the musician shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act”.