After 20 days in prison, a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi has granted Nigerian musician Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley bail for two million naira and two sureties, one with landed property and the other, a Civil Servant, not lower than a level 10 officer.
At the resumed bail application, the singer’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, apologised for his absence at the initial arraignment on May 20 due to heavy downpour. The defence counsel further urged the court to accept the bail application based on the presumption of his innocence in accordance with Section 162 (1). He also pleaded that a liberal approach is taken in hearing the bail application.
On the other hand, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued that it is not the temporary release of the singer that mattered but the final judgment, hence urging the court to grant accelerated hearing rather than bail. He also added that since the defendant’s lawyer said the Naira Marley is a celebrity, his actions and inactions will have a multiplier effect on youths across the country.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo who presided over the bail hearing after listening to the defence and prosecution arguments granted the singer bail and further adjourned the case to 22nd, 23rd and 24th of October for accelerated hearing.
You’d recall that on May 10, 2019, Naira Marley was arrested by the EFCC alongside Zlatan Ibile and three others. However, after five days in prison, Zlatan Ibile and the rest were released on administrative bail.
If found guilty, Naira Marley faces 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.