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EFCC displays 51,933 pages, showing content of Naira Marley’s iPhone in Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) showed a virtual CD with 51,933 pages of analysis of the iPhone of famed Nigerian artist Azeez Fashola a.k.a. Naira Marley before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday.

The EFCC used Mr Augustine Anosike, a forensic analyst, as a second witness to provide a virtual image.

At this point in the trial, Anosike was still presenting evidence that was critical to the prosecution’s case against the defendant.
Naira Marley, the singer of the hit song “Am I a Yahoo Boy?” was charged on May 14 by the anti-graft bureau. This led to his arrest and subsequent trial before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on May 20, 2019. However, his plea was an acquittal.

The court had accordingly granted him bail for two million nairas, with two sureties in like sum.

A trial began just before the 2020 covid 19 lockdown, and the second prosecution witness continued his testimony on Wednesday.
According to the Nigerian News Agency, the witness continued his testimony on Tuesday and finished it after the virtual presentation.

During the last adjourned date, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the Prosecution Counsel, told the court that the prosecution only printed out hard copies of important exhibit portions that it believed were the key to its case.
He had claimed to the court that a complete copy of the entire analysis could be found on a single compact disc.

The printed copies of the exhibit are labeled ‘exhibit F’ while the CD containing full analysis is ‘exhibit F1.’

The court had allowed the prosecution to use a projector to show the CD to satisfy the burden of proof.
On the latest adjourned date, the witness further described how the defendant and another receiver named Yard exchanged text messages and conversations, including credit card numbers.

Once again, on Wednesday, when things got back to normal, the witness restated parts of his earlier testimony from October 26 and pointed to specific images on the projected CD screen where he said them.

This included visual displays of credit card data, conversations, and incoming and outgoing short message services from the defendant’s iPhone, to name just a few.

The witness typically identified the “message trafficking” between the numbers +447426343432 and +447548061528.
Total pages of analysis performed on defendant device: 51,933 pages on CD according to testimony he gave in court.

For 45 minutes after it was shown, the prosecution asked the witness if exhibits A and D were important to his analysis, and he said yes.

The Forensic Report Form is Exhibit A, and the defendant’s iPhone is Exhibit D.
As a result, Oyedepo informed the court that he had finished questioning the witness and that whatever was left will be sent to him for address.

To begin with, defense attorney Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) requested permission from the court to file a motion for variation of its order and requested that the court seize the defendant’s iPhone, which had been in the prosecution’s possession.

He asserts that the Federal High Court is fully capable of maintaining exhibits in its custody and that the defense would have an easier time obtaining exhibits if necessary if the court were to do so.

The court noted the request.

During his deposition, the witness answered Ojo’s questions and affirmed to the court that he had limited his analysis to what was included in his forensic findings.

When the defense attorney questioned the witness about whether or not his study included the number of people who could have used the defendant’s iPhone, the witness indicated the number could not be determined.
A member of the prosecution’s team said,

“As an experienced operative, are you aware that a phone can be used by someone other than its owner?”

“That will only be possible if the owner grants access,” the witness answered.

When asked by the court who gave him the iPhone password, the witness replied that the defendant gave it to the investigating agents, who then gave it to him to analyze.
Forensic examination of the iPhone was done when it was in his possession, but he claimed he did not know when the device was taken from the defendant.

When questioned by the court about the registered phone number on the witness’s iPhone, he said that it is iCloud +447426343432.
Defense counsel reminded the witness that he had previously told the court that the defendant’s phone number was 07426343732. The witness replied that any sim might be installed into a device during an examination.
When asked to confirm if there is a difference between the owner and user of a device, the witness answered, “The names on a phone can be changed depending on what the owner chooses to use.”

Once the witness agreed to this, the defense asked him to show the court the two pages of his analysis summary where he’d noted that the device’s names had changed.
In response, the witness stated that although his report did not include it, the information found within reflects what was in the device.
The trial has been postponed till November 30, December 13, and December 14 by Justice Oweibo.

According to the EFCC, the defendant committed the offence on different dates between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.

According to the investigation, Naira Marley and his cohorts conspired to defraud their victims by using multiple Access Bank ATM cards.

It was stated that the defendant obtained illegal financial gains by using a bank credit card provided to someone else.

The EFCC also claimed that the defendant had multiple counterfeit credit cards to defraud, which was theft. Sections 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1), and 33(9) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015, are alleged to be violated by the alleged offense.

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Written by Babatunde Okerayi

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