Popular Nigerian afro hip hop artist, Adeyemi Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, has commenced negotiation for an out-of-court settlement in the alleged car theft case filed against him and three others by the police.
This development was confirmed by the Marley’s lawyer, Mr Awokulehin Ayodeji.
Ayodeji and lawyers representing the complainant in the case, Mr Adelekan Ademola, are at an advanced stage already negotiating and if successful, the charges against the four defendants may be dropped at the next hearing of the case on January 14.
Other defendants in the charge are Marley’s two brothers, Idris Fashola, 18, Babatunde Fashola, 24, and their cousin, Kunle Obere, 22.
They are facing a four-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, assault and obstructing the police from arresting Marley.
They were arraigned by the police on December 16, before Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias of a Tinubu Chief magistrates’ court in Lagos, but Marley, the fourth defendant, was absent.
The court granted the trio N500, 000 bail each with two sureties in the like sum.
Elias ordered the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) to produce Marley in court on December 31, 2019 so he can take his plea.
Following his failure to appear in court on December 31 and pleas for another chance by his counsel, Ayodeji, Elias threatened to order the artiste’s arrest if he didn’t show up on the next adjourned date of January 14.
Ayodeji, who spoke with journalists afterwards, said settlement talks were ongoing.
“We hope that an agreement will be reached before the next adjourned date,” he said.
According to him, the police were not against a peaceful resolution of the matter.
Ayodeji said: “The police have no problem with an out of court settlement.”
At the their arraignment on December 16, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Edet Okoi, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on December 15, at Eko Hotel Roundabout, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Okoi alleged 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 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 said: “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.