A file photo of popular musician Iyanya during a live performance. Photo: [email protected]
A Lagos State High Court sitting in the Igbosere area on Thursday granted N20 million bail to popular Nigerian musician and performer, Iyanya Mbuk, popularly known as Iyanya, over allegation of car theft.
The one-count was filed against him by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police and he has pleaded not guilty to it during his arraignment.
Granting Iyanya bail, Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, said, “I have perused the affidavit and the counter-affidavit of the parties, and there is a prima facie case of criminal conversion against him.”
“However, there is nothing to show that the defendant will interfere with the proceedings of this case and nothing to show that he will jump bail if granted.
“Bail is, therefore, granted to the defendant in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.”
The judge ordered that the surety should have a landed property in Lagos with a certificate of occupancy.
She added that the bail should be perfected within seven days from Thursday, “otherwise the bail shall be revoked.”
The case was subsequently adjourned until May 27 and 28 for trial.
In his bail application, Iyanya through his lawyer had among other things, argued that the charge was not a capital offence.
He said that it was a business transaction which broke down and assured the court that if granted bail, he would not jump bail.
“The defendant has always submitted himself to the police fraud unit whenever needed,” his counsel said.
The prosecution, Chukwu Agwu, had filed a 13-paragraph counter-affidavit in which he urged the court not to grant the defendant bail.
The police filed the charge against Iyanya on March 15, 2019, while his arraignment was adjourned about six times due to his persistent failure to appear before the court.
The defendant, however, took his plea on February 4 after Justice Okikiolu-Ighile threatened to invoke the power of the court to ensure his attendance to take his plea on the alleged offence.
Agwu had told the court that Iyanya dishonestly converted to his personal use or of another person, a Black Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep marked MAVINIY, with Chassis No. JTEBX7FJ7EK165480 and Engine No. 2TR1385954.
He explained that the said vehicle belonged to the complainant, The Temple Management Company Ltd, represented by a lawyer, Ayodeji Olomojobi.
The prosecutor told the court that Iyanya committed the offence sometime in September 2018.
He said that the offence committed contravened Section 285(10) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.