It has emerged that the expected freedom of Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti, from police detention, did not happen on Tuesday, after all, following the adjournment of the matter to Wednesday by the The Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in the Yaba area of Lagos State, without any reason given.
Adeola Olatubosun, the Magistrate who has been hearing the case, was absent from the court, on a day it was besieged by supporters of the popular musician, who has been in detention since May 15, two days after he was seen in a viral video, slapping a policeman at a location, said to be the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
Kuti was returned to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (F-CID), Panti, Yaba, where he had been detained since reporting himself at the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command on Monday, May 15, after it was discovered that the court would not be sitting due to the development. Channels Television, which quoted one of his lawyers, who confirmed that the case had been adjourned till Wednesday, May 24, reported that the team of lawyers had followed the police to Panti to see how the release of their client could be arranged as the four additional days of remand granted by the court expired Tuesday.
It was a day that a group of people who called themselves members of the ‘Free Seun Kuti campaign’ staged a protest calling for the immediate release of the artist, apparently taking a cue from Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, and Kunle Adegoke, lawyers to the son of Afrobeat maestro, Fela Kuti, who said the embattled singer would be released Tuesday.
In a statement they jointly signed and released to the media the lawyers were definite about the freedom of the musician, saying the Magistrate, was only waiting for administrative approval, added: “The purpose of today’s sitting was to receive the Lagos DPP’s advice. 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.”