THE trial of Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti has been adjourned as the Chief Magistrate’s Court where his case is being heard did not sit on Tuesday, May 23.
At the resumed hearing in the case on Tuesday, Adeola Olatubosun, who had been presiding over the matter, was absent, and no explanation was provided for her absence.
Kuti was brought to the court as scheduled, but upon learning of the magistrate’s absence, a team of policemen swiftly moved him to a nearby police station at Panti.
There were reports that the case has been adjourned until Wednesday, May 24. But no official statement was issued to that effect.
After the court session, one of the musician’s lawyers told Channels Television that the legal team had accompanied the police to Panti in order to explore avenues for their client’s release.
Outside the court premises, a group identifying themselves as members of the ‘Free Seun Kuti campaign’ took to the streets in protest.
They demanded the immediate release of the artist, whose case has garnered significant attention across the country.
Trouble started for the son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, after he 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 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.
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.
In a statement on Saturday, May 20, the musician’s lawyers accused the Lagos State Police Command of failing to comply with a court order by withholding his case file.
Kuti’s lawyers also accused the police of intentionally sensationalising the case.