Protesters gather outside Yaba court ahead of Seun Kuti’s ‘assault’ trial

 


Protesters gathered outside the magistrate’s court in Yaba, Lagos on Tuesday to vent their frustration ahead of the trial of Seun Kuti, the Afrobeat star.

 

Seun, the youngest son of Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, was apprehended on April 15 after he was filmed assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge.

 

He was detained at the state criminal investigation Department (SCID) and arraigned before the magistrate’s court on April 16.

 

The police had sought to get an order to further keep him in custody for 21 days pending the conclusion of its investigation.

 

But Adeola Olatubosun, the chief magistrate of the court, directed the police to detain the musician for additional 48 hours and then release him on bail.

 

On Thursday, the magistrate extended Seun’s remand for additional four days to enable the police to continue with its investigation.

 

She also ordered that Seun’s file be duplicated and sent to the director of public prosecution (DPP) and subsequently adjourned the trial till May 22.

 

The trial was, however, shifted to Tuesday.

Ahead of the singer’s trial on Tuesday, demonstrators were seen carrying banners with inscriptions like ‘Free Seun Kuti’ and ‘End Police Brutality’ among others.

 

Kunle Ajayi, a member of the Movement of the People (MOP), 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 her two eyes open in a very painstaking manner,” he said.

 

On his part, Francis Mwaba, the national secretary of the Youths Rise Movement (YRM), demanded the unconditional release of the musician “between now and tomorrow”.

 

“Seun must be released now unconditionally between now and tomorrow or we are going to go back to the street,” Mwaba said.

 

According to Nigerian laws, Kuti could face up to three years in prison if convicted of the assault allegation against him.


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