Nigerian hip hop artist Azeez Fashola, a.k.a. Naira Marley is due to be back at the Federal High Court in Lagos for a hearing on his alleged internet fraud case.
“The matter is coming up tomorrow,” Wilson Uwujaren, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission spokesman, said when contacted by The Guardian on Monday.
Attempts by The Guardian to reach Naira Marley’s management was futile. However, his latest post on his Instagram page shows he is presently in Nigeria after performing at a Wizkid concert held at O2 Arena in London on Saturday.
Justice Nicholas Onweibo had in May adjourned Naira Marley’s internet fraud case to October 22, 23 and 24 for accelerated hearing. He was granted a N2 million bail, with two sureties in a like sum.
The anti-graft agency arrested Naira Marley on May 10 and was subsequently filed 11-count charge of alleged credit card fraud against him on May 14 in a suit marked FHC/L/178C/19.
The commission alleged that some of the credit cards discovered in his residence bore the names Nicole Louise Malyon and Timea Fedorne Tatar.
The alleged offences, the commission said, contravene the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act.
The charges read in part, “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 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.
“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”
The musician risks seven years in jail if found guilty, as Section 33 (2) which he was accused of breaching, reads, “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction 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
Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to all the charges.