Controversial musician Afeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley on Thursday agreed to shoot a video against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.
Marley told an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos via an April 9 letter that he would make the video at his own cost.
The video will be in satisfaction of part of the conditions for the state to withdraw a social distancing charge against him.
“I hereby undertake to join the Lagos the Lagos State campaign against the spread of the COVID-19 by making a free audio-visual publication towards the campaign against COVID-19,” Marley told Chief Magistrate Yewande Aje-Afunwa in the letter.
Mrs Aje-Afunwa approved the withdrawal of the charge against the musician.
She also approved the withdrawal of the charge against Marley’s co-defendants Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Babatunde Gbadamosi and his wife, Folashade.
The Chief Magistrate made the order following the three defendants’ compliance with conditions set by the government.
Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr Yhaqub Oshoala told the court that the Gbadamosis and Marley had accepted and undertaken to comply with all of the State’s conditions for the withdrawal.
He noted that they had “undertaken to work with the government to tackle the COVID 19 pandemic.”
The conditions are that the trio should individually offer a personal apology to the president and governor; give an undertaking to comply with the COVID-19 regulations, and go into self-isolation for 14 days and report back to the court.
Defence counsel, Mr Olawale Akoni (SAN) for Gbadamosi, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) for Mrs Gbadamosi, and Miss Damilola Ayinde-Marshall for Marley corroborated his statement.
Aje-Afunwa ruled: “Upon the oral application made by the Director of Public Prosecutions on behalf of the Attorney-General of Lagos State pursuant to Sections 71 and 73 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (ACJL) and pursuant to the fact that the three defendants have complied with conditions for the withdrawal of the charge, the unchallenged application for withdrawal of the charge, leave is hereby granted to the Attorney-General of Lagos to withdraw the charge.
“The three defendants are hereby discharged.”
She commended the defendants for “taking the path of honour by taking responsibility for their mistakes” which had made restorative justice possible.
The Chief Magistrate, responding to an application by Adegboruwa, said there was no need to strike out the charge against the defendants.
“The plea of the defendants have not been taken, so all the DPP needs to is to withdraw the charge,” Aje-Afunwa added.
The three suspects were docked before the court on Wednesday, but their pleas were not taken.
According to the four-count charge marked MK/A/44/2020 filed by state, the defendants and others at large committed the offences last Saturday at No 9, Gbadamosi Close, Amen Estate, Ibeju-Lekki.
They were accused of flouting the cessation of movement and stay at home order of President Muhammadu Buhari and the social distancing order given by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos.
The DPP said the state intended to ‘step down’ the charges due to advice from Attorney-General, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
The suspects were part of those who attended last Saturday’s party organised by Nollywood actress, Mrs Funke Akindele, for her husband Abdul-Rasheed Bello’s 42nd birthday.
They surrendered themselves to the Lagos State Police Command following Monday’s sentence of Akindele and her husband. (The Nation)