A human rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has strongly condemned the way and manner the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) treated the son of legend Afro beat Musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Seun Kuti by putting handcuffed in his hand like common criminal, saying that those political class which they mortgaged our economic future and as well involved in financial crime were treated like kings by Police. Also, he condemned the way and manner the Police treated Seen Kuti as if they have arrested a notorious armed robber or murderer by removing all his belongings.
It further stated that the overzealousness of Nigeria Police, made them put handcuffed the hand of Popular Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti, who turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, in the company of his lawyer and family representative in the early hours of Monday, where Police were put him under arrest in line with the law. The group then urged the Police to release Seun Kuti unconditionally as ordered by the Court of Competent Jurisdiction.
In a statement signed by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman and copies were made available to newsmen on Tuesday, condemned the unprofessional conduct by the alleged Police officer claimed to be assaulted by Seun Kuti, noting that Seun Kuti displayed such action out of provocation against the said police officer.
Comrade Sulaiman stated that the Police officer acted contrary to article (1) of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, stating thus “Law enforcement officials shall at all times fulfil the duty imposed upon them by law, by serving the community and by protecting all persons against illegal acts, consistent with the high degree of responsibility required by their profession”.
Sulaiman, who doubles as Convener, Save Lagos Group (SLG), advised Seun Kuti to control his temper in dealing with those Police officer which is following him to collect more sum after collecting a sum of Twelve thousand Naira (#12,000) to repair their acclaimed damaged vehicle. It would be recalled that Afrobeats singer, Seun Kuti, has been remanded in Police custody for fourth-eight (48) hours after which he has to be granted bail for assaulting a Police officer.
Kuti, in a 12-second video clip that went viral on 13th May 2023, had alleged assaulting a policeman on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State.
The defendant turned himself in at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, on Monday, 15th May, following an order for his arrest by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkhali Baba.
He was later transferred to the State’s Criminal Investigation Department(SCID), Panti-Yaba and was, on Tuesday, 16th May, arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate’s Court for assault on a Police Officer, an offence claimed to be contrary to Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.
The prosecution led by S. A. Adebese and Morufu Animashaun prayed the court to remand the defendant for twenty-one(21) days pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
However, Kuti’s counsel, led by Femi Falana, SAN, prayed the court not to remand his client, stating that they (the counsel) were not aware of the remand application.
After listening to both parties, the magistrate requested five minutes of recess, stating that she needed to deliberate on her own. She however handed her phone to the registrar to avoid calls from both parties.
When the court resumed sitting, Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun reading out her ruling said she would not rely on the Police investigation hence she remanded the defendant for fourth-eight(48) hours in Police custody. She said: “Court has decided to override any public opinion and pass the judgment of the court.
The Magistrate further stated that “Following the remand application presented before the court, I am advising that the case file be duplicated and sent to the Directorate of Public Please(DPP) within seventy-two (72) hours.
“The defendant is hereby remanded for fourth-eight(48) hours in police custody to allow the police to conclude their investigation. “After fourth-eight(48) hours, the defendant will be granted bail in the sum of one million Naira (N1m) with two reasonable and 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, therefore, adjourned the case to the 23rd day of May 2023, for mention.
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