Nigeria: Naira Marley Arraigned, Sentenced for Breaching Covid-19 Travel Restriction

Naira Marley (file photo)

The Lagos police command on Thursday arraigned Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley and his Manager, Seyi Awouga, for violating interstate travel ban during the COVID-19 travel restriction.

Naira Marley, who is not a stranger to controversies, was also indicted when he showed up at a party which actress, Funke Akindele, organised in honour of her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, also known as JJC Skillz, in April.

According to a statement released by Lagos Police spokesman, Bala Elkana, Naira Marley and his manager were arraigned on a one count charge at the Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Court, Oshodi around 3:30pm.

On June 13, the controversial singer embarked on a non-essential travel from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos the same date, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja for a musical concert in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

None of the organisers of the concert has been arrested or prosecuted.

The concert was put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, and El'Carnival, and was sponsored by Glenfiddich.

Trial

The musician was arraigned alongside his manager 'f' on one count charge of breach of cessation of movement and interstates travel order made by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Regulation 4(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease Emergency Prevention) Regulation No 2 of 2020 and committed an offence punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law, Ch. P16, Laws of Lagos State 2015

The two accused persons pleaded guilty to the charge and were awarded a fine of one N100,000 each by the magistrate.

Background

The federal government had said it approved the flight that flew in the singer hoping it flew a judge, Adefope Okojie, from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos "for essential purposes and not the musician."

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) sealed Jabi Lake Mall, the venue of the concert.

Also, the aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, announced that Executive Jets Services Ltd, owners of the private jet, had been suspended indefinitely.

He added that the captain who operated the flight "would be sanctioned for misleading the control tower."

The aviation company's chief executive officer, Sam Iwu, later apologised for flying Naira Marley, saying Marley's name was mistaken for "Fashola Babatunde," works and housing minister. The controversial singer flew from Lagos to Abuja in June.

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