Seun Kuti, the embattled Afrobeat singer and son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is being remanded at the State Criminal, Investigations and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos on the orders of Yaba Chief Magistrate Court for assaulting a police officer has been crowned the ‘General Overseer’ of his cell by the inmates. A copy of the Holy Bible was said to have been handed over to him as an instrument of his office. His appointment as the GO was however not without some drama after the inmates initially rejected him.
In a video that went viral, Seun was accused of slapping a police officer on the Third Mainland bridge on May 13 which prompted an order for his arrest by the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba. Seun however submitted himself to the police accompanied by his lawyers on Monday and was arraigned at a Sabo, Yaba Chief Magistrate Court on Tuesday which ordered his remand.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that after preliminary interrogations were concluded, Seun was then taken to the cell to join other suspected criminals. It was learned that his first shocker was the hoarse, deep baritone voice of the leader of the inmates who directed him to keep standing. A few minutes later, a crisis erupted inside the cell as the inmates were said to have rejected him.
The inmates were banging on their metal protective door, asking that Seun should be taken out of the cell.
Sources said as the uproar by the inmates escalated, Seun started negotiating for peace to reign. That was when he noticed that the commotion his presence caused and his rejection by the inmates attracted little or no attention from the police guards.
Doled out N25, 000
At that stage, he reportedly promised to dole out N25,000 to them and he was directed to produce it without delay. He had to beg for the phone to call his wife who quickly brought the money which was handed over to their leader. The inmates subsequently accepted him (Seun) and provided a space for him to sit down.
Vanguard also gathered that Seun was so infuriated by the ugly development that played out that he refused to eat the food provided for him including the food brought by his wife. The hunger strike continued for almost a day and a half until he finally started eating.
The climax of the drama was that the inmates later crowned him the General Overseer of the cell and a bible was handed over to him. That means that he is presently leading the inmates in prayer sessions whenever the need arises after which they would all chorus: GO, GO.
When Vanguard visited the Department at Panti around 2:30 pm, yesterday, Seun was seen clutching the Bible tightly with his left hand while climbing the stairs leading to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge, Waheed Ayilara. He was later led down the stairs, back into the cell.
Sources said those who have visited the embattled singer included his elder brother, Femi, and other family members as well as his lawyers and some friends.
Seun not paraded — Police
The Police have described as untrue insinuation by Seun’s defence counsel that he (Seun) was paraded, urging him to desist from engaging in media trial and allow the judicial process to take its full course.
The clarification, according to the Police, became imperative following what was described as a misinterpretation of facts in the matter at hand, being circulated in social media.
A statement by the Head of Chambers for the Nigeria Police, DCP Simon Lough, SAN, said: “Seun Kuti was not paraded as erroneously alleged by his lawyers. It was his photograph, fingerprints, name and address that were taken as provided for in the law. It has become imperative to correct some misrepresentations being circulated on social media solely to garner sympathy from the public and to divert attention from the fact issue. First of all, there is no law that prohibits the use of handcuffs to restrain a suspect, especially a suspect that has shown a tendency to violence. Secondly, section 10(4) of Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State allows the taking of photographs of suspects arrested for identification and record purpose”.
Meanwhile, the Chief Magistrate Court, Sabo, Yaba has granted an application for an extension of Seun Kuti’s remand for additional four days to allow further investigation into the case. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Olatubosun, extended Kuti’s remand until May 22 following an application moved by Mr Simon Lough, SAN, who led a police legal team to the court.