A Lagos State Magistrates’ Court sitting in the Tinubu area of the state has dismissed a car theft charge filed by the police against popular hip hop artist, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, his two brothers and their cousin.
Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias struck out the four count charge and dismissed the case this morning after receiving a settlement agreement between the complainant Mr Adelekan Ademola and the four defendants.
Marley, his two brothers Idris Fashola, 18; Babatunde Fashola, 24; and their cousin, Kunle Obere, 22 were the defendants in the case.
They were all charged with conspiracy, stealing, assault and obstructing the police from arresting Marley.
Naira Marley was absent, but the other defendants were present.
They were arraigned by the Police on December 16, but Marley, the fourth defendant, was absent.
The court granted the trio N500,000 bail each with two sureties in the like sum.
Chief Magistrate Elias ordered the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) to produce Marley in court on December 31, 2019 so he could take his plea.
Following his failure to honour the court date and pleas for another chance by his counsel, Mr Awokulehin Ayodeji, the court threatened to order the artiste’s arrest if he didn’t show up yesterday (January 14).
At the commencement of proceedings yesterday, only Marley’s brothers and cousin were present.
The prosecutor, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Edet Okoi told the court that Marley and the three other defendants had reached an out of court settlement with the complainant, Adelekan Ademola.
Okoi tendered a letter bearing the agreement to Mr Elias.
The defendants’ lawyer, Awokulehin Ayodeji confirmed that a deal had been reached.
Chief Magistrate Elias also confirmed the agreement from Ademola, and who was present.
He said: “In view of the letter of withdrawal, the defendants are hereby discharged.”
Afterwards, Marley’s lawyer told journalists that Marley was absent because he is out of the country for medical treatment.
Awokuleyin said: “As we speak, he is not even in the country. He is abroad for medicals. But the most important thing is that the charge has been withdrawn and consequentially, the matter is dead.
The complainant in the case, Ademola revealed that his car had been repaired and the items taken from him returned by the defendants.
Ademola said: “Nobody is above the law. You don’t take the law in your hands. That’s the reason why I went to the police.
I don’t want what happened to me could to happen to any other person. That was my main reason for taking it up to this level, that’s what I gained out of it, to make an example. It’s not for any (financial) gain.
“Also, I don’t want a situation where I would have to be looking over my shoulders, the rest of my life.
He said he was not coerced into settling the case.
“I’m satisfied with the settlement terms. My items are intact, my car is fixed, my phone has been returned.
“I was not pressured to make the agreement I have never met Naira Marley. I have no relationship with Naira Marley. This is the first time of meeting him in person,” Ademola said.
In the dismissed charge, the police claimed that Marley’s brothers and cousins, while in a motorcade with Marley, stole a Toyota Camry vehicle with Registration No. FEE 120 AA valued at N1.8 million and an IPhone X5 worth N330,000 belonging to Mr Ademola.
The court heard that the three defendants and others at large assaulted the complainant by beating him up.
Okoi alleged that the second defendant, Babatunde Fashola and others at large obstructed the police while performing their lawful duty and prevented them from arresting Marley….