Yesterday, the 'Marlians' were a jubilant bunch as the singer was released on bail.
Pulse Comment: A case ‘dies’ on bail as Naira Marley’s stock is set to rise
Eleven days ago, Naira Marley appeared before the Federal High Court, Ikoyi for alleged internet fraud. He pled not guilty to charges against him.
At the conclusion of that sitting, the court was adjourned for a bail hearing. On Thursday, May 31, 2019, Nigerian singer, the rapper was granted bail subject to two conditions; a Two Million Naira (2,000,000) bond, and two sureties - one with a landed property and the other, a Civil Servant, not lower than a level 10 officer.
While they had been quiet through the three weeks Naira Marley was in custody, Naira Marley’s supposed fans, ‘The Marlians’ caused a scene as the rapper was being escorted into court. Exhibit A of a rising stock.
Let’s hope this case isn’t dead in the water I – Understanding reactions
While a lot of Nigerians still feel Naira Marley is the victim of a witchhunt that he brought upon himself with his terrible conduct in the public eye with ill-timed support for internet fraud while justifying same with slavery, you cannot justify Naira’s arrest.
The question here is not about how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could have arrested a politician, this is about prosecuting an offence for which the body feels it has overwhelming evidence. Thus, any argument that belittles this case is hogwash.
A lower wrong – at least to a community of people – doesn’t stop being a wrong because the higher wrong is not prosecuted. Internet fraud is as much as an offence that carries a punishment as money laundering by a politician is.
Both corruption and internet fraud degrade Nigeria’s image on a global scale. A Pitchfork article about Naira Marley starts with, "Nigeria is notorious for its email scammers—known as “Yahoo boys”"
This reputation makes people lose business over the internet owing to a lack of trust; visa applications are being denied over this nonsense. No amount of normalization of internet fraud by inner-city Nigerian mainstream will make it right.
Corruption and the dire state of a nation does not legitimize internet fraud as a hustle. It is robbery and people are losing their livelihood while Nigerians buy expensive cars and buy out clubs. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Let’s hope the case isn’t dead in the water II – Corruption collides with sound judgement
Nigerian law enforcement and the Nigerian judicial system are not the most transparent. When it comes to high profile cases, their track-record isn’t great. A sitting Governor of Kano State, Abdulahi Usman Ganduje was seen obtaining hard currency on a video, yet remains the Governor of Kano State.
Equally in 2017, superstar singer, Burna Boy allegedly sent henchmen after his Port Harcourt kin, Mr. 2kay at Eko Hotel where the latter was beaten, battered and had his belongings stolen.
Burna was charged to court as a Defendant only for the case to die a natural 'Nigerian death' in the judicial system.
There are numerous other examples of high-profile Nigerian cases that have since gone wrong because the system is an 18-wheeler running on a terrible lag and fueled by liquefied corruption.
It then becomes poignant that the same corruption that ‘Marlians’ used to justify their king’s alleged wrongdoings might be what gets him off the hook – you cannot write this thing, it can only be witnessed.
With Naira Marley out on bail, all evidence and the reputation of our judicial system points to how this case is set for a natural death. It then goes to ‘Nigerian reason’ that maybe Naira Marley’s fans have been right all along. Maybe illegality actually means nothing in the Nigerian context. Maybe law enforcement in Nigerian is, in fact, a joke.
These are a lot of ‘maybes,’ but one thing is for sure, all queries shall be answered and all doubts shall either be verified or disproved in due time. However, with our track record as a nation, the prospects don’t look good.
It’s also quite incredible that the singer was even granted bail in the first place, when the case is one of such high profile, with all the associated risks.
The rise of Naira Marley
Regardless of the weight or otherwise of Nigerian law enforcement in high profile matters, one thing is certain; Naira Marley’s stock is set to rise to astronomical levels.
His fans are a mix of Nigerian mainstream and the Nigerian immigrant demography in UK and other parts of Europe. The bulk of the infamous ‘Marlians’ are inner-city Nigerian youths in less than savoury neighborhoods, where the inadequacies of the Nigerian government is felt at boiling point levels.
A December 2018 Pulse article about internet reads, “Yahoo is the reality of where they (in this case, Marlians) are from; it is the Nigerian version of drug dealing on British or American inner-city street corners. It is that version of ‘the hustle.
“We, human beings are shaped by our subconscious and the subconscious is only shaped by normalized concepts and phenomena it ingrains. There will always be a set of young men supporting Yahoo…
“It is not about right or wrong for them. It’s just about what you can do and what you can’t do. They don’t understand or can’t process the concept of how Yahoo is wrong.
“That’s a probable result of combining how the system and environment that produced them fuses with their background. Where these guys grew up, their role models are unrepentantly into Yahoo; so are their heroes and their friends.They’re also probably from lower-middle class to lower class backgrounds, where the will for wealth is higher than on any other class cadres.
“When Yahoo has then been the answer to wealth and change for people they know, it then becomes difficult to change the idea a young person grew on or into. It becomes fused to the subconscious… Asides that, vices are thrilling.
“Every society has its own version of glorified illegality and immoral acts - It’s just the sad human reality…”
These factors are why Naira Marley is about the become a hero upon his release on bail. The people describe in the above quote are the bulk of Nigerian youths who support Naira Marley.
Whatever the case is, to them, he is the man who supported yahoo, went into the system, came out on bail and is possibly on his way to an unconditional release – that’s another feather to his burgeoning wings.
That is street-cred, his stock is at an all-time high, even in media. This case has just given Naira Marley free publicity, even Pitchfork has an article on his ordeal.
While he is unlikely to get any endorsement deals, anything he does now will be a hit. The only thing left for Naira Marley to do is release an album titled, ‘The State vs. Afeez Fashola.’
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