EFCC Boss, Magu Speaks on Arrest, Trial of Naira Marley

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 23 – Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday spoke on prosecution of musician, Afeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has announced a Tweet Meet by 12pm on Thursday, May 23. Many expect the anti-graft agency will be answering questions about the embattled musician, among other things.

Naira Marley was arrested on May 10, 2019, alongside three of his friends who are also in the entertainment industry. All the others have been released. His arrest, few weeks after he spoke up against the government and in defence of young internet fraudsters known as Yahoo boys, has sparked allegations of victimization.

According to the EFCC, he is facing 11 counts bordering on cybercrime for allegedly conniving with one Yad Isril (at large) to use Access card issued to other persons in a bid to obtain gain, an offence contrary to Section 27(1) (b) of the Cybercrime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015. He pleaded not guilty.

A statement by EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, quoted Magu as saying Naira Marley was picked up over internet fraud charges and not because he is a musician.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to emphasize that we have no issues with any member of this very important sector of the country.

“I have said it in the past and I will also like to restate, that the EFCC does not go after any innocent person. Our mandate is to rid Nigeria of any form of economic and financial crimes, and internet fraud is not excluded.

“There is always intelligence report that our officers get and investigate before effecting a warrant of arrest, and we don’t arrest innocent people”.

He noted that the concern for the increasing cases of internet fraud, prompted him early in the year, to constitute a Task Team given the task to stem the tide of internet fraud in the country.

“This Task Team has since swung into action, and the outcome of what you have is the increasing cases and report of EFCC operatives rounding up internet fraudsters across the country,” he added.

He, however, noted with concern that “I don’t like arresting them, but what can we do, we have to do our job.

“While I restate our commitment to continue the intensity of rounding up internet fraudsters, I strongly urge you all to join hands with the EFCC to promote the culture and gospel of hard work with dignity”.

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