© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Hip hop rising star, Naira Marley remanded in prison for alleged internet fraud
UPCOMING Nigerian hip hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known by his stage name, Naira Marley, has been remanded in prison by the Federal High Court, Lagos, following allegations of internet fraud, commonly referred to as yahoo yahoo.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed an 11-count charge against Marey after he was arrested alongside four other upcoming hip hop musicians last week.
After investigations, however, the other suspects were released while Naira Marley remained in detention.
He was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on Monday morning and he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
The matter has been adjourned to May 30 for the hearing of the bail application filed by Naira Marley’s counsel.
In one of the charges against him, Naira Marley was accused of conspiring with one Yard Isril, who was said to still be at large, to use a debit card belonging to someone else to “obtain gain” to themselves.
According to the EFCC, the offence is contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.
The suspect risks a jail term of seven years or more on conviction or a fine of N5 million as well as the “forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act”.
Naira Marley came to limelight with his 2017 hit song titled ‘It’s a goal’, but it is his latest single ‘Am I a yahoo boy’, as well as his posts on social media which appear to be supporting internet fraud, that may have landed him in trouble.
Many musicians have criticised Naira Marley’s perceived pro-internet fraud stance saying there should be no justification for engaging in criminal activities.
The EFCC has upped its clampdown on suspected internet fraudsters across the country. The commission has carried out raids on suspects’ hideouts in different regions in the country, arresting dozens of alleged yahoo boys and confiscating their property which included laptops and luxury cars.