Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti, was yesterday, released on bail from Police custody, seven days after he reported himself at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, over the assault allegation against him.
Before his release, last night, his lawyers, Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, and Mr. Kunle Adegoke, had hinted that he would be released, yesterday, having met all the conditions for his bail.
Some of Kuti’s friends and supporters were seen jubilating outside the Police station, immediately after he was released.
A viral video showed his supporters taking turns to embrace him when he stepped outside the police station.
Friends and family members were reported to have besieged his Ikeja residence awaiting his arrival.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyers and activists, yesterday, kicked against the maltreatment of Afro-beat musician by the Police.
Their reactions came as Kuti’s court hearing over the assault charges, filed against him by the Police before a Chief Magistrate’s Court, in Yaba, Lagos, was stalled, yesterday, due to the absence of the presiding Magistrate, Adeola Olatubosun.
Seun Kuti, son of late Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti, was in a court ordered detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, following his arraignment for allegedly assaulting a Police officer.
The court had, on May 15, 2023, after his arraignment, ordered that Kuti should be detained for 48 hours and should be released on bail thereafter.
Upon an application by the Police, the court, last Thursday, extended Kuti’s detention at the SCID by four days to allow the Police conclude their investigation.
However, when Kuti was taken to court, yesterday, the court did not sit, as the magistrate was reportedly on a training.
The court registrar later informed parties that the matter had been adjourned to today.
Outside the court premises, Kuti’s supporters, in their large numbers, protested against his continued detention by the Police.
They held posters and banners with inscriptions such as ‘End police brutality’, ‘Free Sun Kuti’, among others.
One of the protesters, an activist and National Secretary of Youths Rise Movement, YRM, Francis Mwaba, demanded the unconditional release of the musician “between now and tomorrow.”
He said: “Seun must be released unconditionally between now and tomorrow, or we are going to go back to the street.”
Another activist and member of the Movement of the People, MOP, Kunle Ajayi, accused the police of collaborating with the magistrate to frustrate the trial.
“There have been a lot of collaborations to stop us. Nobody can stop us, because when we rise, we rise. We are watching with our two eyes open in a very painstaking manner,” he said.
We’ve fulfilled bail condition, awaiting his release —Kuti’s Lawyers
In a statement made available to Vanguard, Kuti’s lawyers had expressed optimism that their client will be released yesterday, stating that they have fulfilled all the conditions set for his administrative bail.
The statement reads: “The Court, as you will recall, had ordered that the prosecution of the case must be by the DPP’s office and not by the Police, hence the Police was also ordered to send the case file to the DPP for evaluation and decision as to prosecution.
“The court was therefore to sit today to receive the DPP’s advice, but did not because, as we’re informed, the Magistrate is attending a training course. However, the Advice of the DPP is not ready as the police investigation team is still holding on to the case file.
“Nevertheless, the release of Mr. Kuti on bail, as ordered by the Magistrate, is only waiting for administrative approval. That process has nothing to do with whether or not the court has a physical sitting. We are hopeful that Mr. Kuti will be out today on the bail granted him, having fulfilled the terms.”