Seun Kuti: Lawyers accuse police of disobeying court order

LAWYERS representing Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti have accused the Lagos State Police Command of failing to comply with a court order by withholding his case file.

Seun, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti was seen in a viral video slapping a policeman in Lagos State.

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

Kuti, on May 15, turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja accompanied by his lawyer 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 Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun of a Magistrate’s Court in the Yaba area of Lagos State.

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, 2023.

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

Speaking on behalf of other members of the legal team, Kuti’s lead counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, in a statement on Saturday, May 20, said the police have not complied with the order of the court that the case file be submitted to the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution for legal evaluation.

Olumide-Fusika, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), also accused the police of turning the matter into a “national emergency” and creating a circus around it.

According him, Kuti willingly surrendered himself to the police to answer for the allegation of assaulting a policeman.

He said that the police have chosen to make a spectacle of the situation, instead of taking the necessary procedural steps to charge the embattled musician officially.

The statement further questioned when Kuti would be formally charged for the offense of “attacking and slapping a police officer in uniform,” as stated by the police.

“Now that Mr. Kuti had been put in manacles and taken on parade from one police station to another, and from one location to the other across Lagos since Monday 15/5/2023, when exactly is he going to be charged for, as you put it in your statement,’ attacking and slapping a police officer in uniform’?

“Mr. Seun is patiently waiting to be charged to court for the alleged offence so that he can offer his defence. That should not be too much for a suspect to expect.”

The lawyer expressed hope that the Lagos State Deputy Commissioner of Police, Simon Asamber Lough, who is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), would advise the police to comply with the order of the Magistrate Court to submit the case file to the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution for legal evaluation, potential charges, and prosecution in a court of law.

You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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