Crime & Law
JUST IN: Court releases Seun Kuti on bail
Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti has been released on Tuesday night on bail, from the detention of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos.
The development was confirmed by his attorney, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, SAN, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Tuesday night.
“Yes, Ṣeun Kuti was released minutes ago,” he said.
It was earlier reported that the Afrobeat musician may be released today (Tuesday) following the expiration of the extension of his remand in police custody, court documents obtained by our newspaper revealed that the Chief Magistrate, Adeola Olatunbosun, extended Kuti’s remand until Tuesday, May 23.
The document shows that a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State last week Thursday granted an application by the police for an extension of remand of Seun Kuti until Tuesday (today), to enable the police to conclude its investigation, and for the advice of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution.
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The police had told the court that the two days remand extension that was earlier granted was not enough for it to conclude its investigation.
Responding to the police’ application, the magistrate said, “I will grant the extension. Matter adjourned to May 23, 2023, for DPP’s advice,” the document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Monday revealed.
Meanwhile, legal counsel to the musician, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, SAN, told our newspaper that his client’s (Seun Kuti’s) bail conditions had been met last Thursday.
However, our correspondent gathered that police lawyers went to court on Thursday to get a remand extension without notifying the musician’s legal counsel.
“The police lawyers came to court on Thursday without informing Seun’s lawyers. When the matter was called for mention, a young lawyer who was in court, pleaded with the magistrate to stand down the matter for about five minutes for Seun Kuti’s legal counsel, Olumide-Fusika, SAN, who had rushed down from Ikeja, to arrive.
“But the magistrate refused, and extended Seun’s detention till Monday,” a source privy to the development revealed to our correspondent on Thursday.
Our correspondent gathered that the lead counsel to the police, Simon Lough, SAN, moved the application, noting that the extension was to allow further investigation into the case.
Recall that Kuti is charged with assaulting a police officer during an altercation on Saturday, May 13, on the Third Mainland Bridge, in Lagos.
The police charged him with slapping an inspector after he drove dangerously on the bridge, and deliberately blocked a moving police vehicle.
Kuti was arraigned last Tuesday, during which the Chief Magistrate earlier ordered his remand for 48 hours, and held that the defendant be admitted to bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum, at the end of the 48-hour remand.
However, following a second arraignment last Thursday, the magistrate adjourned the case until May 23 for mention and directed the prosecutor to duplicate the case file and forward a copy to the state director of public prosecutions for advice.
Seun Kuti’s bail conditions met – Lawyer
Reacting to the development during an interview with our correspondent, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, SAN, noted that the musician’s bail conditions had been met, while insinuating that the court’s decision for the four days remand extension would, however, be respected.
Olumide-Fusika said, “There’s no comment on the four-day extension. It’s a court decision, we’ll wait and see.
“However, Ṣeun Kuti’s bail conditions have been met from our side. But since there’s a court decision extending for four days, the presiding magistrate did not sign off until after then.”