Nigerian fast rising musician and recording artist Azeez Adeshina Fashola popularly known by his stage name as Naira Marley has finally becomes a street hero after his released on 2 million naira bail. Naira Marley who appeared for the second time in the federal high court in Ikoyi, Lagos to witness his bail hearing has been granted bail by the chief judge who oversaw proceedings at the court on Wednesday 30th May 2019.
His bail was set at the sum of two million naira by the court. After his release, naira Marley declared 30th of May every year as Marlians day, a special day set aside to celebrate his freedom.
It would be recalled that the last time the singer appeared in court to face an 11-count charge relating to internet fraud leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was on Monday 20th May 2019. However, his bail hearing was adjourned till Thursday 30th May, 2019. Luckily, Naira Marley’s plea for a bail was granted on a bailout fee of two million naira by the court.
Naira Marley after his release suddenly became very popularly on Instagram. His followers on Instagram massively increased from 430,000 to 748,000. Naira Marley, who landed in hot waters following the lyrics of his controversial song “Am I A Yahoo Boy” was being remanded for 10 days in EFCC custody and 9 days in prison after he was accused of internet fraud and stolen access cards. He became very popular after he was granted a N2 million bail.
Justice Nicholas Onweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos granted Naira Marley bail on Thursday 30th May 2019 while the trial has been adjourned till October 2019 for further hearing. A sober looking Marley had earlier on Thursday 30th May 2019 released a song titled “Why” which narrates his ordeal in the hands of fake friends and a subtle plea for freedom.
On arrival, a large number of fans hailed the artiste as he made his way into the court to hear his bail verdict. Since his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 10th May 2019, the artiste has garnered more popularity on social media.
This popularity is promoted by two camps. The ones who compare him to the Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and others who seek justice for his cyber crimes. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) arraigned Naira Marley on an 11-count charge including possession of fake credit cards. On his arraignment on 20th May 2019, Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him and was remanded till Thursday 30th May 2019 for his bail application.
This whole saga started after Naira Marley posted on his official Instagram page stating; “Yahoo Yahoo is not a crime, but rather a means to recover the stolen treasures taken from Nigeria during colonialism.” In response to his post, Nigerian Hip Hop rapper Ruggedman attacked him saying Yahoo Yahoo is a big crime in Nigeria and the act has deprived many Nigerians living abroad the freedom and privilege to socialize and integrate with foreigners.
Another Nigerian celebrity who attacked Naira Marley on this unscrupulous statement is Nigeria R&B singer Simi who also condemn the acts and called it a criminal act. Simi told her 4.4 million Instagram followers that internet fraud was wrong and that Yahoo boys shouldn’t listen to her songs or watch her videos. While Nigerian famous pop star Davido started that in Nigeria nobody is holy.
Last year December, the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced a crackdown specifically on young men suspected of internet fraud. According to EFCC boss; “We have declared a total war on Yahoo boys, who have done nothing but give Nigeria a bad name at home and abroad.” Since the statement was made by the EFCC boss, it has been reported that more than 150 young men have been arrested in Nigeria pertaining to this internet fraud called Yahoo Yahoo.
The day after “Am I a Yahoo Boy” dropped online, which was on 10th May 2019, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) announced that it had arrested Naira Marley, Zlatan Ibile and three others for their alleged connection to online fraud. Five days later, Zlatan Ibile and the three others were released on bail while Naira Marley was charge to court on an 11 count charges bothering on fee fraud and stolen access card, after EFCC intelligent unit found some suspicious content on his laptop.
According to the Federal High Court complaint, the 11 counts charges carry a potential sentence of seven years in jail if Naira Marley is found guilty. However, Naira Marley appeared in court on Monday 20th May 2019 and pleaded not guilty on the 11 count charges leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The chief judge adjourned the case till 30 May 2019 when his bail will be decided. On 30th May 2019, Naira Marley was released from prison and gracefully became a street hero and his fans increased massively.
After his freedom, Naira Marley declared 30th of May every year as Marlians day, a special day set aside to celebrate his freedom. After which he released a new song titled “Why” and the cover of the song comes with an image of him in handcuffs. In the lyrics of the song he talks about fake friends especially those who abandoned him when he was faced with the greatest life challenges. He finally stated that he is not a yahoo boy.
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