The commission preferred 11 charges bordering on alleged credit card fraud, meaning the musician, best known for his football-leaning song, “Iss agoal” risks being jailed for seven years if found guilty, following his arrest last week Friday along with four others, including his bosom friend, Zlatan Ibile.
EFCC, in suit number FHC/L/178C/19, filed a case against Naira Marley before a Lagos State High Court on Thursday, with charges bordering on credit card fraud. Credit cards, some of which bear names like Nicole Louise Malyon and Timea Fedorne Tatar, were obtained from the musician, according to the commission under alleged crimes in contravention of 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.”
“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,” Section 33 (2) which he is accused of having breached, states.
Looking back, Naira Marley would wish he didn’t draw attention to himself with the comments pointing to the fact that he does not see anything wrong with internet fraud better known as Yahoo Yahoo or internet or credit card fraud is a means of avenging the evil of the transatlantic slave trade in Africa.
Naira Marley’s management demand his release
Hours before the court filing came to light, Cash Ellz Entz, the management of the musician, Naira Marley, has released a statement earlier on Thursday, demanding his freedom and seeking to exonerate him from the alleged crimes.
“Items found on Naira Marley does (sic) not belong to him. Items retrieved were borrowed so he can upload music, videos, and record while visiting Nigeria,” the statement reads about the singer who splits his time between London and Lagos.
His management, accused the EFCC of using the ‘Issa Goal’ singer as a scapegoat for cybcercrime in the nation while saying the anti-graft agency has found no “hard evidence” implicating him of fraud.
According to the statement, the “Am I a Yahoo Boy” which the management considers a precursor to his arrest on his birthday and comments which it also says the singer is entitled to, singer is being deprived of his rights as a human being despite being “a hardworking artiste who has turned his back on crime and focuses solely on hismusic”.
In reaction to Naira Marley continued detention at the time, EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, had said Zlatan and the others were released on administrative bail, which didn’t apply to Naira Marley on account of what it considers “overwhelming evidence” against him.
“There is overwhelming evidence against Naira Marley; so we can’t afford to release him on administrative bail like Zlatan and the three others.
“That Zlatan has been released does not mean they have been discharged and acquitted. Naira Marley is still in our custody and will be charged to court soon and we will make the charges known in an official statement soon,” Mr Orilade said then.