The court premises was packed with supporters of the music star as there was barely any space for people to move around. As usual, the security apparatus was able to match the crowd who came to support their ‘idol’ on his bail application hearing.
So guys, here are five things that took place at Naira Marley’s bail application hearing at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
1. The ‘Marlians’ came in their numbers
Naira Marley arrived in the court premises some minute after eleven in the morning, with the security operatives of the Nigeria Prison Service. His fans who came in large number were spotted all over the court premises chanting praises to their supposed ‘idol.’ Even the efforts of the security operatives could not deter the teaming supporters who wanted to catch a glimpse and escort Naira Marley into the courtroom. Naira Marley to court wearing a black T-shirt and black trousers, this time around he looked a bit relaxed.
2. Naira Marley had nine defense lawyers present in court
Naira Marley’s legal team, unlike his previous arraignment, came in full force and prepared. He was defended by not just one but nine lawyers who all came to get him out of jail. Top on the list of Chief Olalekan Ojo (SAN) who was supported by Olayinka Ojo, M. Oregba, Femi Martins, Akinwale Kola Taiwo, Afeez Olabisi, Ebuka Anyim, Adeboyo Adedokun, and P.I. Uwakwe.
3. Naira Marley’s plea
Olalekan Ojo started off by apologising to the Justice Oweibo for not showing up at the previous arraignment which he attributed to the heavy downpour. He, however, commenced his bail application for Naira Marley by stating that the defendant filed a written 18 paragraph affidavit by Naira Marley’s mother on Thursday, May 30, 2019, after getting served a the court an affidavit on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. He then went on to pray the court to grant Naira Marley bail based on liberal grounds.
The defense counsel went to debunk the insinuation that Naira Marley was going to jump bail if granted bail. He went on give a Yoruba proverbs which say ”A person cannot steal the trumpet that belongs to the king because he has nowhere to blow it,” which according to him means that, there was no way Naira Marley was going to jump bail or become a flight risk as presumed by the EFCC counsel.
4. EFCC’s opposition
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo opposed Naira Marley’s bail application, citing several grounds of which he wanted him remanded in prison custody. According to him, there was a counter-affidavit filed by the investigating officer of the EFCC, whose findings leaves them with no doubt that bail application should be rejected.
He went to remind the Judge that Naira Marley as a celebrity has a lot of influence on his fans and young Nigerians at large and granting him bail will send a wrong signal to the general public. According to him, there is an upsurge of cyber crimes in the country which if not handled legally, is a time bomb waiting to happen in Nigeria. For Rotimi Oyedepo, he prayed the Judge to give an accelerated hearing of the case rather granting Naira Marley bail.
5. The Judge’s final ruling
After listening to both prosecution and defense counsel, the judge gave his ruling. According to him, the EFCC hasn’t been able to present enough evidence to keep Naira Marley in the prison custody. He, however, granted him bail to the tune of N2M and two sureties; one a civil servant with the grade level 10 and second surety with a landed property in the jurisdiction where the case is being held.
The next hearing date was fixed but a tentative date was given which is between 22, 23 and 24 of October 2019.