Judge’s absence stalls Seun Kuti’s trial

THE trial of afrobeat musician Seun Kuti at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court was stalled on Monday, July 3 due to the absence of the trial judge.

The Chief Magistrate, Adeola Olatunbosun was said to be on her administrative leave when the case came up for hearing on Monday.

The case was as a result adjourned until September 27 by the court’s registrar for further hearing.

The musician, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was seen in a viral video in May, slapping a policeman in Lagos State.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba Usman, according to a statement from police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, thereafter ordered his arrest.

Kuti, on May 15, turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, accompanied by his lawyers and family members.

The 40-year-old musician was subsequently arrested and moved to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Panti.

On May 16, he was arraigned before Adeola Olatunbosun of a Magistrate’s Court in the Yaba area of Lagos State on charges of assaulting a police officer, an action which violated Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.

The Afrobeat singer was, however, granted bail but according to his lawyer, the judge ordered that he is to be released in 48 hours after meeting his bail conditions.

The judge also ordered that Kuti’s file be duplicated and sent to the director of public prosecution (DPP) and subsequently adjourned to May 23.

But on May 18, his lawyers said the magistrate has extended the remand order by an additional four days to enable the police continue with its investigations.

He was eventually released on May 23 after spending eight days in police custody.

However, the magistrate, Olatunbosun, in a previous ruling on May 24, dismissed an application by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) seeking to arraign the Afrobeat singer.

The Police counsel, Cyril Ejiofor, had sought the leave of court to arraign the singer, having preferred a charge against him.

You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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