Nigeria: Musician Iyanya Granted N20 Million Bail Over Alleged Car Theft

27 February 2020

An Igbosere High Court in Lagos on Thursday granted bail in the sum of N20 million to a musician, Iyanya Mbuk, popularly known as Iyanya, over alleged car theft.

Iyanya, who rose to fame after winning the first season of Project Fame West Africa and best known for his hit single "Kukere", is facing a count charge of stealing.

The charge was preferred by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police.

Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, while granting Iyanya bail, said: "I have perused the affidavit and the counter-affidavit of the parties; there is a prima facie case of criminal conversion against him.

"However, there is nothing to show that the defendant will interfere with the proceedings of this case and nothing to show that he will jump bail if granted.

"Bail is, therefore, granted to the defendant in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum".

She ordered that the surety should have a landed property in Lagos and possess its certificate of occupancy.

She also ordered that the bail should be perfected within the next seven days "otherwise the bail shall be revoked".

The judge adjourned the case until May 27 for trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports counsel to the defendant, D. I. Onyiwara, had filed the bail application supported with a 30-paragraph affidavit and a written address, urging the court to grant him bail.

He argued that the alleged offence was not capital.

Mr Onyiwara said that the charge resulted from a broken down business transaction.

He added that the defendant would not jump bail.

"The defendant had always submitted himself to the SFU whenever needed," Mr Onyiwara said.

Prosecution counsel, Chukwu Agwu, had filed a 13-paragraph counter-affidavit, urging the court not to grant bail to the defendant.

NAN reports that the police filed the charge against the singer since March 15, 2019.

His arraignment was adjourned six times after the charge marked LD/9024c/2019 was filed, due to his failure to appear before the court.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty on February 4, after Okikiolu-Ighile threatened to invoke the power of the court to ensure his attendance to take his plea.

The SFU alleged that Iyanya dishonestly converted to his personal use or of another person, a black Toyota Land Cruiser Prado jeep marked MAVINIY, with chassis No. JTEBX7FJ7EK165480 and engine No. 2TR1385954.

It said that the vehicle belonged to the complainant, Temple Management Company Ltd. represented by a lawyer, Ayodeji Olomojobi.

The SFU alleged that Iyanya committed the offence sometime in September 2018, in contravention of Section 285(10) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

(NAN)

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