Seun Kuti Remanded in Police Custody; Police Conduct Thorough Search of Home for Evidence

Seun Kuti Remanded in Police Custody; Police Conduct Thorough Search of Home for Evidence

In an unfolding saga that continues to make headlines, the renowned Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, found himself at the receiving end of a judicial ruling. On Tuesday, a Magistrates’ Court located in Yaba, Lagos, decreed that Kuti should remain in police custody for a duration of 48 hours.

This development comes on the heels of an altercation that reportedly took place last Saturday, wherein Seun Kuti allegedly assaulted Inspector Mohammed Aminu. The alleged incident, captured in a video that has since gone viral, led to Seun Kuti arrest after the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, issued a warrant for his apprehension. Kuti, the youngest offspring of the late Afrobeat icon, Fela Kuti, turned himself in voluntarily on Monday and has remained in police custody ever since.

As part of the ongoing investigation, Seun Kuti was brought before the magistrate on Tuesday. The police sought and received permission to retain Kuti in their custody while the inquiry progresses. They claimed that Kuti’s alleged assault on a law enforcement officer while he was performing his duty violated Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.

Presenting their case, the prosecuting team, led by S. A Adebeshin and Morufu Animashaun, argued that Kuti had not only assaulted and injured a police officer but had also disrupted him in the discharge of his lawful duties. Additionally, they claimed Kuti’s actions had the potential to cause public unrest. The incident, they informed the court, occurred on May 13, 2023.

The prosecution further accused the singer of reckless driving on the highway near the Third Mainland Bridge and of deliberately assaulting a uniformed police officer with a volley of slaps. They requested the court to remand Kuti for 21 days pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, arguing that this would allow them sufficient time to conclude their investigation.

The police also informed the court that the officer allegedly assaulted by Kuti was receiving medical treatment at an undisclosed location, later revealed to be the Police clinic in Ikeja.

Despite these serious allegations, Kuti’s defense, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, countered that they had not been informed of the remand application. Olumide-Fusika asserted that there was no substantial reason to demand his client’s remand, arguing that the offenses attributed to Kuti were bailable.

In his argument, the SAN stated, “The offenses and their corresponding penalties are clearly defined under the law. The prosecution’s claim that Kuti refused to provide a written statement does not warrant an application for detention. Kuti poses no flight risk and should be granted bail under the condition that he presents himself to the court whenever required.”

After hearing both sides, the magistrate issued her ruling, stating, “Based on the remand application submitted to this court, I recommend that the case file be duplicated and forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions within 72 hours. The defendant, Kuti, will remain in police custody for 48 hours to allow the police to complete their investigation. After this period, his bail will come into effect.”

She granted Kuti bail in the sum of N1m, along with two responsible sureties, a three-year tax payment receipt that can be verified, and one of the sureties must own a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction. The case was adjourned until May 22, 2023.

In the meantime, police officers carried out a search of Kuti’s residence on Akin Osiyemi, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, on Tuesday. Reliable sources reported that the officers were searching for potential evidence related to the case. They also confiscated Kuti’s wife’s mobile phone during the search operation.

An eyewitness, who requested anonymity, shared that Kuti was present during the search, handcuffed and seated in a police vehicle while the officers thoroughly searched his home.

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