A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday declined an application seeking an examination of the iPhone SIM slot of a musician, Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley, facing trial for alleged cybercrime offences.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo upheld the objection of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo that opening the SIM slot was not the proper thing to do.
Oyedepo raised the objection during cross-examination of the second prosecution witness, Mr. Augustine Anosike, by Marley’s lawyer, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN).
According to Ojo, his application was only seeking leave to examine the phone so as to demonstrate before the court whether the SIM card was inside the iPhone or not.
He stated that he had no intention to remove or tamper with it.
He added that he also sought to demonstrate that the said phone number of the defendant, which ended in ’32’, was in use at the moment, whereas the same phone was in the court’s custody.
But Oyedepo opposed his application on the grounds, among others, that the witness had already testified on record that he did not open the phone during analysis.
The lawyer argued that having not done so during analysis, the witness should not be made to do so during trial.
Justice Oweibo agreed with Oyedepo.
The judge adjourned till April 6, for continuation of trial.
According to the EFCC, Naira Marley committed the offences on different dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.
The EFCC alleged that some of the credit cards discovered in Marley’s residence bore the fictitious names Nicole Louise Malyon and Timea Fedorne Tatar.
These, the agency alleged, were used in furtherance of internet scams.
Marley, who sang the hit songs ‘Soapy’ and ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy’, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on May 20, 2019, and is out on bail.
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