A Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Tuesday dismissed a car theft charge filed by the police against hip hop artist, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, his two brothers and their cousin.
Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias made the order after receiving a letter from the police disclosing their intention to withdraw the case.
Marley, who was absent, was said to be in the United States “for medicals”.
Marley, his two brothers: Idris Fashola, 18; Babatunde Fashola, 24; and their cousin, Kunle Obere, 22, were standing trial on a four-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, assault and obstructing the police from arresting Marley.
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.
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 told newsmen 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 But the most important thing is that the charge has been withdrawn and consequentially, the matter is dead.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.
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.
He said he was not coerced into settling the case.
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.