Naira Marley’s Trial Hits Pause as Prosecution Seeks Fiat Approval


The criminal trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, faced a temporary halt at the Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday. The prosecution, led by Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari, informed Justice Isaac Dipeolu that the trial couldn’t proceed due to a pending application for fiat before the Chief Judge of the court.

The application, dated December 8, 2023, seeks approval for the former judge to continue with the trial of the defendant. Naira Marley is facing charges related to cybercrime, brought forth by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 14, 2019. The charges allege offenses committed on various dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.

Initially arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on May 20, 2019, Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Oweibo granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum. The trial began under Justice Oweibo, but due to the judge’s transfer, the case was reassigned to Justice Dipeolu.

The proceedings before Justice Dipeolu encountered a temporary setback as the court awaits the Chief Judge’s decision on the application for fiat. The case is adjourned until May 30 for a report, highlighting the legal complexities surrounding the trial and the bureaucratic processes involved. The EFCC accuses Naira Marley and his accomplices of using different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud victims, contravening the provisions of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.

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