Lawyer to the embattled popular Nigerian singer, Seun Kuti, yesterday, fumed and described as illegal the handcuffing and parading of the singer after he submitted himself to the office of the Lagos State police commissioner to help with the ongoing investigation, hours after a video went viral where he was seen assaulting an officer of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos.
The son of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, engaged in an altercation with a police officer days ago, in which he was captured on camera assaulting the police officer on Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos.
Following the incident, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba, immediately ordered Seun’s arrest. He equally ordered a “speedy and full investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the assault and prosecution of the suspect accordingly.”
Immediately after submitting himself, Seun Kuti was handcuffed and had his mugs hot taken by the police while also being paraded before other police officers, and his pictures released to the media.
Reacting to this development, Olumide-Fusika, (SAN) in a statement said: “Following his encounter with a policeman on the Third Mainland Bridge on Saturday, May 13, 2023, my client, Mr. Seun Kuti reported himself in the office of the Commissioner of Police at the Police Command, Ikeja, at 8 am on Monday, May 15, 2023.
“I accompanied him to the Ikeja police station together with another lawyer, Mr. Femi Akinyemi from Falana and Falana chambers.
“However, there was no interrogation as it was decided he would be moved to the Force Criminal Investigation Unit at Panti, Yaba.
“Before his movement, Mr Seun Kuti was handcuffed and his photograph taken in the open by the Lagos PPRO, Mr David Hundeyin, who coordinated the parade and shared the photograph of his parade in the media.
“Mr Kuti is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the State. Therefore, the decision of the police to subject him to the media parade violates section 9 of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which has prohibited any form of a parade of criminal suspects in Nigeria in Lagos State.
“The Police are supposed to enforce the Law but prefer to disrespect and break it so casually and randomly. A Police institution that has no respect for the law it exists to enforce is not a good example to alleged lawbreakers.
“The decision of the police to handcuff Mr Kuti is equally illegal as it constitutes a violation of Section 5 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
“After handcuffing him, the Police then drove him in a long convoy of heavily armed personnel from Ikeja to Panti Lagos, where he was again displayed for viewing to the men and officers of that police formation and is currently held.
“We await the next move of the Police on the misdemeanor alleged against Mr Seun Kuti.”