It is no more news that the “Issa Goal” crooner, Naira Marley, real name, Abdulazeez Fashola, a Nigerian rapper and entertainer was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) earlier this month and was hit with an 11-count charge, including internet fraud, cybercrime and conspiracy to obtain gain.
In his possession were several incriminating items, including a counterfeit card and a laptop which contained deeming evidence against him. His camp has since released a press statement saying that the laptop found in his possession isn’t owned by him and was a “borrowed laptop.” However, they have since failed to produce the real owner of the laptop.
The incident started out like a joke. Nigerian Twitter users had different opinions about his arrest. Some of them were adamant on the fact that this is Nigeria. Nobody rich and famous ever gets arrested and stay arrested, especially when pictures of the artiste, alongside the other arraigned suspects (which included a follow artiste Zlatan Ibile) hit the internet and their look didn’t spell out any sort of discomfort. In fact, they even appeared to be in their best conditions.
About 24 hours later, when the other suspects were let go, some conspiracy theories prompted the possibility of their arrest being staged and all part of an elaborate publicity stunt to boost their career. However, it came as a shock when, fast forwarded to three days later, reports had it that Naira Marley was still in the EFCC custody.
On May 20th, Naira Marley appeared in the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos where his charges were read to him & he pleaded “not guilty”. The judge ordered that the Nigerian singer be remanded in prison until May 30th when the hearing of his bail application will take place.
Don’t dig your own grave
In my opinion, Marley dug his grave the first time he made that Instagram video glorifying internet fraudsters, popularly known as yahoo boys. He even went as far as describing what they do as “God’s work,” saying the white people being defrauded are only facing retribution for hundreds of years of slavery. He furthermore released a music video titled “Am I yahoo boy?”, which stirred up a lot of controversies.
Fame doesn’t make you invincible.
Nigerian politicians have been known to somehow escape the hangman’s noose. They tend to commit various atrocities but never get to face the penalty due to their fame and wealth. However, law enforcement agencies have decided to turn things around and use this culprit as an example. They had initially made it clear by declaring war on cyber criminals and fraudsters. The question exactly is why are they so bent on penalizing this one person like he has a target on his back. It could be a warning to the general public that your fame & money wouldn’t vindicate you this time.
Learn humility. For now, we don’t know if it’s the long days in the horrendous holding-cell or the thought of being slammed with so much jail time, but there was something about his facial expressions in the recent videos of him being transported from the cell to court, he looked so innocent and humble. This even moved some Nigerian fans to feel pity for him.