SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 14 – A magistrate court at the Tinubu area of Lagos State has thrown out charges filed by the police against music artiste, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley, as well as his two brothers and cousin.
Recall that the police had charged Fashola to court over his alleged involvement in car theft.
Presiding over the case brought against the musician, Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias threw out the four counts after receiving a settlement agreement between the complainant, Mr Adelekan Ademola, and the defendants.
Naira Marley, his two brothers , Idris Fashola and Babatunde Fashola, and their cousin, Kunle Obere 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 in court but the other defendants were present.
At the commencement of proceedings on Monday, only Marley’s brothers and cousin were present.
Prosecuting 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, Mr Adelekan Ademola.
Okoi tendered a letter bearing the agreement to Mr Elias.
The defendants’ counsel Mr Awokulehin Ayodeji confirmed that a deal had been reached.
Chief Magistrate Elias also confirmed the agreement from Mr Ademola, and who was present.
He said: “In view of the letter of withdrawal, the defendants are hereby discharged.”
Afterwards, Marley’s lawyer explained why Marley was absent.
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 But the most important thing is that the charge has been withdrawn and consequentially, the matter is dead.
He is in the United States.”
The lawyer declined to state the terms of the agreement.
Awokuleyin said: “We reached a resolution and parties were able to settle the matter. As we speak, the matter has been discharged from court and the charge has been dropped. The terms are confidential.”
The complainant in the case, Mr Ademola revealed that his car had been repaired and the items taken from him returned by the defendants.
He also explained the reason for the prosecution.
Ademola said: “Nobody is above the law. You don’t take the law in your hands. That’s the reason.
It (what happened to me) could have happened 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.
He sajd: “One of the vehicles in the musician’s motorcade hit the complainant’s vehicle from the back while he was throwing out money from his vehicle to his fans.
”When the complainant came down from the vehicle to inspect the damage, Obere entered the complainant’s Camry and drove it off with the motorcade. Ademola reported to the police and the vehicle was tracked to where it was parked at Jakande Crescent, Oniru in Lagos.
“When the police arrived at the location in company of the complainant, Naira Marley and his boys started beating the complainant.
“A group of boys obstructed the police from arresting the musician but they were able to apprehend the three defendants.”
He said the offences contravened Sections 112,172, 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.