This is a list of some celebrities who have had serious issues with the law.
1. Naira Marley
Upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, courted controversy online and got blasted by fellow celebrities when he openly supported youths involved in online fraud commonly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’.
Naira Marley, known for his hit single, ‘Issa Goal’, recently came under fire by renowned rapper, Ruggedman, for promoting Internet fraud in his music. Marley even made a song out of it which is currently trending and has gotten over a million views on You Tube.
That got the attention of both the public and law operatives, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who investigated him and preferred 11 charges bordering on fraud against him, including alleged credit card fraud.
Naira Marley was arrested on May 10, 2019 alongside rapper, Zlatan Ibile, Rahman Jago, Guccy Branch and one other person.
Marley stands risk of spending 7 years in jail if found guilty in accordance with Section 33 (2) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015.
Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the cyber fraud charges pressed against him by the anti-graft squad. The judge adjourned till May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defense counsel, Taiwo Oreagba, on behalf of her client.
Following the court order, Naira Marley was led into the holding cell on the court premises by prison officials accompanied by policemen and EFCC officials. As it stands now, his reputation has been tainted and he’s being used as the poster boy for fraud. Cyber-crime is a serious issue in Nigeria and is something the government is actively tackling.
Hip Hop Star, David Adeleke, was definitely in big trouble with the law when three of his friends died consecutively in shady circumstances. This was probably the biggest scandal that rocked the entertainment industry in 2017. Davido was invited by the police for questioning over the death of his friend, Tagbo. Also, Davido’s friend, DJ Olu, born Olugbenga Abiodun, son of an oil magnate, Dapo Abiodun and Chime Amechina were found dead in a BMW car in a garage on Banana Island, Lagos, shortly after Tagbo’s death. Police said they must have died of an overdose of substances suspected to be hard drugs found in their car.
It all started when actress, Carolina Danjuma wanted the singer to answer questions concerning the death of Tagbo. Caroline came up on Instagram that the late Tagbo Umeike was in the company of the Pop-star, Davido and friends when he died and she suspects foul play. She accused Davido of dumping the body of his friend, Tagbo at the General Hospital in Lagos, after he allegedly died in his car.
According to an alleged eyewitness, Davido and his friends started a drinking competition where the singer, Davido placed a price of N200, 000 and iphone 8 for the winner. Tagbo was said to have won the competition, consuming heavy shots of Tequila but failed to live to tell of his conquest. Talks and allegations of Davido’s complicity in deaths began to spread like wildfire.
Davido was eventually invited by the police when footage was released and the singer was seen among the last persons who saw Tagbo before his death. After a while, he was cleared of all the accusations by the then Commissioner of Police in Lagos State.
3. Burna Boy
Another big scandal in 2017 which finally ended with the police was the case of Abiye David Jombo, also known as Mr. 2Kay, who was allegedly robbed at gunpoint in his hotel room at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on October 22, during the Buckwyld ‘N’ Breathless concert, where he also performed, lost some valuable items to the attackers and was beaten to a pulp.
On November 20, 2017, the police announced that dancehall star, Damini Ogulu, also known as Burna Boy, was wanted for questioning over the Mr. 2Kay’s robbery incident.
The police arrested four suspects including the road manager of Burna boy, Joel Kantiock.
During interrogation, the robbers confessed that they were hired by Burna Boy through his manager.
According to the then Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Imohimi Edgal, the suspects were paid N50, 000 before the attack on Mr. 2Kay and another N50,000 was paid directly by Burna Boy after the attack.
Also a screen shot of a chat conversation between Mr. 2kay and Burna Boy resurfaced, where the dancehall threatened to deal with Mr. 2kay over his comments on his tweet about beating up pastors. The conversation between the two acts allegedly happened 10 days before the Eko Hotel robbery.
Burna Boy later handed himself to the Nigeria Police Force over the robbery and assault on Mr. 2Kay after he was declared wanted. The singer handed himself to the Lagos Police Command on Friday, December 15, 2017, was later arrested on arrival, interrogated and detained and later released on bail.
4. Monalisa Chinda Coker
Popular Nigerian actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda Coker, may have gotten herself into trouble with the law concerning payment of tax. This is following allegations of tax evasion in which the Nollywood belle failed to pay income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions.
The order which was made on January 21, 2019 by Justice Adedayo Akintoye came after an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to the court on allegations that Coker had repeatedly failed to honour court summons.
The continued absence of actress and producer, Monalisa at the court has led a Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area to renew a bench warrant for her over allegations of tax evasion charge. Justice Adedayo Akintoye renewed the order for Coker’s arrest following her failure to appear in court for trial, allegedly since 2017. The judge adjourned further proceedings till June 5, 2019.
According to the prosecution counsel, the defendant failed to file annual tax returns in respect of her company to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) for six years, stressing that Monalisa Code Productions carries out its business from Lekki in Lagos State.
The alleged offence, the prosecution said contravenes Section 94(1) of the personal Income Tax Act 2004 as amended and Section 5 of the Lagos Revenue Administrative Law of 2006
5. Yetunde Akilapa
This is probably the most embarrassing story of a celebrity getting involved with the police. Yoruba Nollywood actress, Yetunde Akilapa has become a steady visitor to the most unlikely place for anyone, the police station. The actress has been accused severally for robbery and in most cases has been caught red-handed.
Her most recent episode with the police happened early in July 2018 when she was arrested after breaking into a house in an attempt to rob the occupants of the house. She was, however, caught and handed over the police.
6. Baba Suwe
Nollywood actor and veteran comedian, Alhaji Babatunde Ayinla Nurudeen Olasunkanmi Omidina, alias Baba Suwe was in the news for the wrong reason in 2011, following his arrest and detention by officers of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) on the assumption that he was in possession of hard drugs believed to be cocaine. Baba Suwe was picked up at the International wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, by the NDLEA officials, while boarding an Air France flight to Paris, France.
The scanning machine at the airport detected suspected substance hidden in Baba Suwe’s stomach, but the suspect was alleged to have denied that such drug was on his person. A second scanning proved that he was carrying the said suspected substance and this led to his immediate arrest. He was forced to remain at the NDLEA office at the airport until he starts excreting the drugs but that didn’t happen.
For more than one month he was subjected to public humiliation and at the end of it all, the court vindicated him, and ordered that he be paid the sum of N25 million for his unlawful detention. It would actually appear that this sum has not been paid. He eventually lost right to the money.
7. Ibinabo Fiberesima
On February 26, 2006, former beauty queen and Actors Guild of Nigeria’s President, Ibinabo Fiberesima was driving along Lekki-Epe expressway when she lost control of the wheel and swerved into the inbound lane and rammed her car into Dr. Giwa’s, which resulted in his death.
The deceased was a medical practitioner at the Lagos General Hospital.
Consequently, the actress was arrested and charged to court for manslaughter and reckless driving. She was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of a Lagos State High court in 2009. She was later granted bail following an appeal filed by her lawyer, Mr. Nnaemeka Amaechina.
However, a Lagos High Court, on March 11, 2016, dismissed Fiberesima’s appeal and upheld her five-year jail term.
Fiberesima had earlier been awarded a N100, 000 fine by an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, but the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Supo Sasore (SAN), felt unsatisfied with the judgement. This prompted the state government to take its case to the Lagos High Court. At the Lagos High court, Justice Oluwayemi set aside the option of fine imposed by the Magistrates’ Court and sentenced Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for dangerous and reckless driving. The court held that the option of N100, 000 given to the convict did not serve the purpose of justice in the matter and subsequently ordered a refund of N100, 000 to Ibinabo Fiberesima. She was however granted bail in the sum of ₦2 million and two sureties in like sum on April 7, 2016 by a Court of Appeal in Lagos pending the determination of her appeal at the Supreme Court. In an apology to the family and Nigerians, the 46-year-old actress insisted that she was not drunk on the day of the accident. The traumatised actress has continued to plead for forgiveness.
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