By Christopher Oji and Lukman Olabiyi
The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court, Yaba, has remanded Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, for 48 hours.
The court presided by Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun also gave the Nigeria Police Force 48 hours to conclude investigation into the alleged assault on a policeman by Kuti.
The defendant was charged with assault on a police officer, an offence contrary to Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act. The police prosecutor, S. A Adebese, prayed the court to remand the defendant for 21 days, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. However, Kuti’s Counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, begged the court not to remand his client, stating that he was not aware of the remand application.
A viral video of Seun Kuti assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State emerged last Saturday.
Kuti had turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, on Monday, following an order for his arrest by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. He was later transferred to the state’s Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, and charged to court, yesterday.
The magistrate after listening to both parties requested five minutes of recess, stating that she needed to deliberate on her own.
When the court resumed sitting, the magistrate said she would not rely on police investigation, hence, she remanded the defendant for 48 hours in police custody.
She said: “Court has decided to override any public opinion and pass the judgment of the court.
Following the remand application presented before the court, I am advising that the case file be duplicated and sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions within 72 hours.
“The defendant is, hereby, remanded for 48 hours in police custody, to allow the police to conclude their investigation. After 48 hours, the defendant will be granted bail in the sum of N1 million with two responsible sureties, a three years tax payment receipt that is verifiable; one of the sureties must have a landed property within the court jurisdiction.”
She adjourned the case till May 23, 2023 for mention. However, a mild drama ensued at the SCID, Panti, when Kuti, sensing that he was going to be arraigned in court, demanded for his lawyer before being taken to court.
The singer was secretly moved to the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Yaba, where he was arraigned. The musician, who was taken to court without his lawyer, refused to be docked without his lawyer.
Kuti turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, on Monday morning, in company with his lawyer. Shortly after his arrival at the command headquarters, he was photographed and taken away in handcuffs to the SCID) Panti Street, Yaba, where he was detained. His arrest was in line with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, for assaulting a police officer.
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