A Lagos State Magistrates Court sitting in Ogba on Thursday struck out the charge filed against controversial musician, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley and former Lagos gubernatorial aspirant, Babatunde Gbadamosi and wife, Folasade.
Magistrate Yewande Aji-Afunwa struck out the social distancing violation charge against the trio after the Lagos State government applied to withdraw it.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Lagos, Yakub Oshoala informed the court that the defendants have complied with the conditions stipulated for the withdrawal of the charge and termination of the criminal case.
The Lagos State government had through its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo on Wednesday gave the defendants three conditions to fulfil.
They are that the defendants must write a formal letter of apology to the Federal and State governments which will solidify the remorsefulness shown by them.
They were also told to give an undertaking in writing that they will continue to comply with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu which is the subject matter of the case before the court.
Also in view of the danger which the state believes they have put themselves in by attending a gathering exceeding 20 persons, the defendants must agree to go on a 14-days isolation to protect other members of the public from any likely danger.
Oshoala, therefore urged the court to struck out the charge against the defendants as they have undertaken to work with the government to tackle the COVID 19 pandemic.
Lawyer to Gbadamosi, Wale Akoni (SAN) confirmed this position, stating that his client had submitted his letter of apology and undertaking to the police at SCID, Panti, for onward transmission to the Attorney-General of Lagos State.
Also lawyer to Mrs. Gbadamosi, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) also confirmed the position as stated by the DPP.
He further aligned with the application of the DPP to withdraw the charge and urged the court to strike out the charge and discharge the defendants.
Miss Ayinde-Marshall, who represented Naira Marley also confirmed that the musician had submitted his letter of apology and undertaking to the police.
In her ruling, Magistrate Aje-Afunwa held, “upon the oral application of the DPP on behalf of AG which was brought under section 71 and 73 of AJCL and pursuant to the fact that the three defendants have complied with conditions, the unchallenged application of DPP for the withdrawal of this charge MIK/A/44/2020, leave is hereby granted by this court to the AG to withdraw this charge against the three defendants.
“Accordingly, the three defendants are hereby discharged.
“I wish to commend the competence of the AG and other prosecution and the Learned Senior Advocates and other defence counsel, for the way they have handled this case, which is novel in this State.
“I commend the three defendants for taking responsibility for their errors. There is a manual by the state for restorative justice,” the magistrate held.
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