THE Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the arrest of afrobeat singer Seun Kuti, who was captured on Saturday, May 13 in a viral video assaulting a policeman in uniform on the Third Mainland bridge, Lagos.
Seun is a son of the late afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
The video showed Seun pushing the policeman, and then slapping him.
“You dey craze! You dey mad!” he could be heard saying as he slapped the policeman.
The musician would later claim the policeman attempted to kill him and his family, hence the reason for his action.
“He tried to kill me and my family. I have proof, but I no dey chase clout. He has apologised and I have agreed not to press charges. Make una mind una business make the poor guy no lose im job,” Seun said via a post on his Instagram story.
A statement released by the public relations officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, late Saturday said Baba had ordered the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State command, Idowu Omohunwa, to arrest the singer.
The statement read, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, CFR has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command to arrest Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti, who was captured on video assaulting a police officer in uniform.
“The IGP has equally ordered a speedy and full investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the assault, and prosecution of the suspect accordingly.”
Adejobi quoted Baba in the statement as assuring Nigerians that “acts of contempt/disdain for symbols of authority will not be tolerated while offenders of such hideous crimes will be surely brought to book.”
Seun, in another post on his Instagram story, agreed to an investigation on the incident, adding a prayer that the guilty party be indicted.
“I welcome the investigation and will give my full cooperation! I also pray to the IG that whoever is wrong should be indicted,” he stated.
Fela, Seun’s father and a globally acknowledged afrobeat icon, was well known for his many entanglements with the police, and, indeed, with the Federal government.
On February 18, 1977, armed soldiers numbering scores invaded Fela’s one-storey building located inside his ‘Kalakuta Republic’ at No. 14, Agege Motor Road, Mosalasi, Yaba, Lagos, gave Fela and his many female dancers severe beatings and burnt the house to the ground.
Fela’s mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, an activist reputed to be the first female to drive a car in Nigeria, was thrown off the top storey to the ground during the soldiers’ attack at the house, and consequently died from the injuries she sustained.
Just a month before the soldiers’ invasion of Kalakuta Republic, Fela had released the album ‘Zombie’, a scathing sarcasm of junior soldiers’ unquestionable obedience to the orders of their superiors.
Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.