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EFCC testifies against Naira Marley, displays his Phone Content in Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has testified against Nigerian music star, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley in the alleged Internet fraud charges levelled against him. The Commission also reportedly displayed the content of Naira Marley’s iPhone before a federal high court.

Naira Marley was arrested in 2019 by the EFCC over his alleged involvement in a credit card scam. He was consequently, arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he pleaded not guilty.

The court had accordingly, granted him bail in the sum of two million naira, with two sureties in like sum.

On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, his trial on 11 charges bordering on conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud, resumed at the Federal High Court, Lagos. 

The court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, saw the commission display the virtual projection of a Compact Disc with a 51,933-page analysis of Naira Marley’s iPhone. 

A prosecution witness, Anosike Augustine, a mobile forensic expert with the EFCC testified against the singer. Anosike narrated how about 2,410 short messages were analysed from the iPhone of the defendant. He also said that different credit card numbers were extracted from the defendant’s iPhone.

Anosike said that while analysing Naira Marley’s iPhone, 977 Short Message Service (SMS) and 1,433 chat messages, were discovered adding that there were also seven pending status update messages.

The witness specifically took his time to read out a plethora of credit card numbers and messages sent from the phone on different dates and times, as well as OTP codes sent. He listed some of the recipients of the messages to include one Yadd and another Raze.

Fielding questions from Ojo, the witness confirmed to the court that he had confined his analysis within the compass of his forensic reports.

Then the Defence asked, “As an experienced operative, are you aware that it is possible for a person other than the owner of a phone to have access to the use of that phone,”

The witness replied “That will only be possible where the owner grants access,”

When the witness was asked who supplied him with the password to the iPhone, he told the court that the defendant provided the password to the investigating operatives who consequently, transmitted the same to him for his analysis.

After his testimony, the prosecutor informed the court that all the analysed messages were contained in a Compact Disc (CD) but that the prosecution had only printed out those portions which were material to its case.

The prosecutor then asked the court if he could be allowed to bring a projector for the purpose of playing the CD in the open court, so as to fully prove its cyber fraud case and discharge the burden placed on the prosecution and against the defendant.

The defence counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo did not have any objections to the request and the court allowed it.

Justice Oweibo adjourned the trial till November 30, December 13 and 14.


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