The trial of a popular street-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, who was charged with alleged cybercrime, has been foiled due to the absence of the judge meant to give a verdict in the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State.
The court, which was scheduled to sit on Monday for the trial, failed because the trial judge, Justice Nicholas Owiebo, reportedly attended a judges’ conference.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting the defendant, Naira Marley, on charges bordering on cybercrime on May 14, 2019.
Fashola, who made “Am I a Yahoo Boy” a popular street lingo after he was paraded, was consequently arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he pleaded not guilty.
The court had, accordingly, granted him bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in like sum.
The trial has since commenced in the case and is still ongoing.
Justice Oweibo had issued a warrant for the production of the defendant following his absence from the trial on October 6.
Oweibo’s order followed an application for a production warrant by the prosecution, Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari.
Recall that the Lagos State Police Command had detained Naira Marley and his associate, Sam Larry, in connection with the death of an artiste, Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as “Mohbad”.
At the last adjourned date of October 30, defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court that the defendant was still clearly absent from court despite the court’s order for his production.
The court had, consequently, adjourned the case until November 13 and 30 for the continuation of the trial.