The absence of a prosecution witness has stalled the ongoing fraud trial of Naira Marley, the Nigerian singer, before a federal high court in Lagos.

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Augustine Anosike, who is a forensic analyst, is testifying as a second prosecution witness in the case.

Marley is facing an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, possession of counterfeit credit cards, and fraud.

He was arrested on May 14, 2019, by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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He was consequently arraigned on May 20, 2019, before Nicholas Oweibo, the judge, but pleaded not guilty.

The court had, accordingly, granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

The musician’s trial had since resumed and the second prosecution witness who concluded his examination-in-chief on October 27 was scheduled for cross-examination on Tuesday.

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According to NAN, when the case was called, Rotimi Oyedepo announced an appearance for the prosecution while Olalekan Ojo (SAN) appeared for the defendant.

Oyedepo, however, informed the court that his witness was unavoidably absent on what he termed “compassionate grounds”.

He added that the witness is currently in his village while urging the court to grant an adjournment for December 14.

In response, the defence counsel told the court: “It was rather unfortunate that the matter could not proceed today. The prosecution ought to have given sufficient notice of the witness’ absence.”

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Ojo urged the prosecution to ensure that adequate information reaches him earlier in similar circumstances.

Following the agreement of the parties, the court adjourned the case until February 16 and 17 to continue the trial.



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