Court adjourns Seun Kuti’s case till July 3
The trial of Afrobeat musician, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, has been adjourned till July 3, 2023.
Seun on Tuesday night regained his freedom after spending eight days in Police detention.
The youngest son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti was arrested on Monday, May 15 for allegedly assaulting a police operative on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
Protesters had earlier on Tuesday, May 23 demanded his immediate release within 24 hours.
The protesters thronged the Chief Magistrate Court Yaba in Lagos, asking police to release Kuti from detention.
The Afrobeat musician was at the Yaba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, for the proceedings that were adjourned on Tuesday due to the magistrate’s absence.
There was, however, a mild drama in the court which was witnessed by the Chief Magistrate, Adeola Olatubosun as the Police’s effort to charge Kuti on a new ground of assault was strongly blocked by his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).
Falana raised two critical legal objections. He noted that the police were just presenting the fresh charges to him in court instead of the 48 hours prescribed by law and as a result failed to provide the defendant with adequate time to prepare his defence.
Secondly, following the Chief Magistrate’s order that the case file be sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Falana described the police prosecutor’s latest effort as contemptuous of the court order.
The Chief Magistrate had given an order to the police to seek DPP’s legal advice on May 16, 2023, but they refused to adhere to the order.
Falana thereafter told the court that they can’t prosecute unless they appeal the judge’s order.
“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,” Falana said.
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.”
The case was, therefore, adjourned till July 3 for legal advice from the DPP.
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