Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti has been granted bail by the Chief Magistrate Court in Yaba, Lagos.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the court’s decision also includes an order for the Nigerian police to complete their investigation into the alleged assault of a policeman within 48 hours, allowing Kuti to return home.
The prosecution team, headed by S. A. Adebese and Morufu Animashaun, sought the remand of the defendant for 21 days while awaiting legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. However, the defense, led by Femi Falana, SAN, argued against the remand application, asserting their lack of awareness regarding it.
After hearing both sides, the magistrate called for a brief recess to carefully consider the matter. Upon reconvening, the magistrate delivered her ruling, stating that she would not solely rely on the police investigation. Consequently, she ordered the defendant to be remanded in police custody for a duration of 48 hours.
Addressing the courtroom, the magistrate affirmed, “The court has decided to prioritize its judgment over public opinion.” As a result, she advised that the case file be duplicated and forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions within 72 hours.
During the 48-hour remand period, the police would conclude their investigation. Following this period, the defendant would be eligible for bail, set at the sum of N1 million, provided two responsible sureties are presented. Additionally, the sureties must furnish a verifiable three-year tax payment receipt, and one of them must own a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.
The case has been adjourned until May 23, 2023, for mention, allowing for further legal proceedings and developments in this ongoing matter.
This newspaper learnt that on Monday night, the police at the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, reportedly refused to grant Seun Kuti bail after their futile attempt to trick him into writing a statement that would implicate him in the case of an alleged assault on a police officer.
The police claimed they were yet to conclude their investigation, rejecting the lawyer’s request to grant the musician bail.
The situation escalated when a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, one of the lawyers defending Seun, called the police commissioner to complain about the unruly behaviour of the officers, treatment of his client, and prevention of Olumide-Fusika from being present during the musician’s interrogation.
It was also learnt that the police officers at the facility continued to be hostile to Seun, his lawyers, and his family members