By Uche Amunike
Son of Afrobeat legend, Late Fela Anikulapi-Kuti, Seun Kuti, has finally been arrested and presently held in detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, also known as Panti, over alleged assault on a police officer, Saturday, atop the Third Mainland Bridge.
With him, was a lawyer representing the law firm of popular human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), Falana and Falana Chambers.
The social media has been agog with a viral video clip and several pictures showing Seun Kuti raising his voice at a uniformed police officer and eventually slapping him. In the video, the officer in his camouflage uniform was seen, taking it all in silence, never reacting or retaliating as most policemen on duty were wont to do.
This enraged most Nigerians on social media who condemned Seun Kuti’s assault on the officer. His wife was also seen trying to calm him down, but he was too enraged to listen.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered, not just the arrest of Seun Kuti, but also, a full investigation into the direct and indirect cause of the alleged assault on the police officer, as well as the prosecution of the musician.
This was because, Seun Kuti accused the police officer of attempting to murder him and his family in a social media post on his verified account.
On their part, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has asked for the immediate prosecution of Seun Kuti, adding that nobody had the right to assault a policeman on uniform while carrying out his official duties, no matter what offence was committed by him.
The chairman of the Commission, Dr Solomon Arase, who is a retired Inspector-General of police, stated that the musician’s arraignment would be a lesson to other citizens.
Seun’s lawyer, Femi Falana in his reaction, gave the assurance that his client had evidence to defend his action and would turn in himself to the authorities.
His words: ‘I am his lawyer and he has briefed me. He certainly has evidence. This is not the first time he’s dealing with the police. He (Seun) is going to report himself to the police tomorrow morning. There is no problem at all.’
Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act however, states that if Seun is found guilty of assault against the police officer, he is most likely to spend three years in prison.
The Act reads: ‘Anyone who assaults, resists or willfully obstructs a police officer while acting in the execution of his duty, or any person acting in aid of a police officer while so acting is guilty of felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.’
Seun Kuti turned himself in, Monday and was seen handcuffed in a viral video. According to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, he would remain detained in custody until his arraignment as soon as investigations are concluded.
Hear him: ‘Seun Kuti is still in our custody. He will be arraigned once investigation is concluded.’
Meanwhile, another viral video clip surfaced on social media, Monday, where an eye witness narrated the incident and explained how Seun not only slapped the police officer but kept pushing him around. He clearly condemned Seun’s conduct in every ramification.