Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has ordered that an upcoming hip-hop Nigerian artiste, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, be remanded in prison custody.
The judge made the remand order yesterday shortly after the musician was arraigned before him on an 11-count charge bordering on credit card fraud and cybercrime.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him for his alleged involvement in Internet fraud.
Oweibo stood down the case some minutes after the musician entered the dock to wait for his counsel.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
In view of his pleas, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date.
He also prayed for accelerated hearing of the case and urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.
But counsel to the defendant, Taiwo Oluwa Ore-Agba, asked the court for a date to hear the bail application on behalf his client.
Consequently, the judge adjourned the case till May 30, 2019 to take the bail application filed by the defence counsel on behalf of his client.
The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act.
The musician risks seven years in jail if found guilty, as Section 33 (2) which he was accused of breaching, reads:
“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.
In a related vein, the EFCC, Abuja Zonal office, has arrested 10 suspected Internet scammers in Abuja.
They were arrested following a tip-off by an anonymous source.
The suspects are Okorokpa Clifford, Ejechi Rukeme Clarence, Omoagbere Nelson, Olamide Agbi, Prosper Williams, Zhenom Moses, Nasiru Saudi Ali, Shakajede Okiemute, Okoro Andrew and Amorighoye Laju Precious.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects include exotic cars, laptops and smart phones.
The EFCC said they would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.