On Tuesday, a Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Yaba, Lagos, ordered the remand of Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti in police prison for 48 hours.
The police hauled Kuti to court last Saturday for assaulting one Inspector Mohammed Aminu in Lagos, as captured in a viral video.
The youngest son of late Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti has been in police prison since Monday after turning himself in response to an arrest warrant issued by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.
On Tuesday, the police took him to court to get an order keeping him in detention until the investigation was completed.
The police told the magistrate, Adeola Olatunbosun, that Kuti violated Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act by allegedly attacking a police officer on duty.
On May 13, 2023, the defendant was claimed to have wounded and assaulted a police officer, impeded his legitimate duties, and conducted himself in a manner likely to provoke a breach of peace, according to the prosecution led by S. A Adebeshin and Morufu Animashaun.
The musician allegedly drove dangerously on the highway towards Third Mainland Bridge and purposefully seized a police officer in uniform, slapping him in the face.
The prosecution requested that Seun Kuti be held in custody for 21 days seeking a legal opinion from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The prosecution further claimed that the assaulted police officer was in an undisclosed hospital, later discovered to be the Police clinic, Ikeja, receiving medical attention.
However, the lead defense counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), contended that he was unaware of the remand application, adding that there was no basis to request for the remand of his client.
The SAN argued that the offenses leveled against his client were bailable.
“The offenses and punishment are straightforward and well stated under the law.”
“Saying that Kuti refused to write a statement, is not enough to bring an application for detention. He is not a flight risk. He should be admitted to bail on terms that he shows up anytime he is needed by the court,” the SAN argued.
“The defendant is hereby remanded for 48 hours in police custody to allow the police to conclude their investigation. After 48 hours, his bail will take effect.”
“The defendant will be granted bail in the sum of N1m with two responsible sureties, a three years tax payment receipt that is verifiable; one of the sureties must have a landed property within the court jurisdiction.”
She adjourned the case till May 22, 2023, for mention.
Meanwhile, The PUNCH gathered from reliable sources that police officers on Tuesday stormed Seun Kuti’s residence on Akin Osiyemi, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, in search of exhibits, while also seizing his wife’s mobile phone.
According to an eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, the police officers took the musician along during the search, while they combed his apartment in search of exhibits.
The eyewitness said, “The police officers invaded Seun’s home here on my street, Akin Osiyemi, and he was in the vehicle with them while in handcuffs.”
“They stormed his apartment in search of exhibits. But they also seized his wife’s phone before driving off with Seun Kuti.”
Also, a police source at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, told our correspondents that the Afrobeat legend was humiliated and threatened by aggrieved police officers while detained in a police cell on Monday.
“Some of my colleagues who were aggrieved over the incident took turns in humiliating and threatening Seun Kuti on Monday.”
“The officers told him he would have been dead if they were the ones he slapped during the altercation with their colleague on Saturday.”
“He wasn’t even allowed to make a written statement until about 8 pm on Monday night, and he refused to give a statement after he was brought to the counter.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin did not respond to inquiries by our correspondent concerning the incident as of press time, despite phone calls and text messages to his telephone line on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the singer’s lawyer, in a statement, lamented that the police on Monday did not allow his wife access to give him food in the cell.