Seun Kuti, Portable, and 5 Other Nigerian Entertainers Who Have Been Arrested, and How It Was Handled

Seun Kuti, Portable, and 5 Other Nigerian Entertainers Who Have Been Arrested, and How It Was Handled

Nigerian entertainers are among the country’s most valuable exports. However, it is unfortunate that some have been tied to some sort of dispute.

In light of Seun Kuti’s recent detention, which ruled headlines for days, we look at some of our music stars who have had to face the law.

D'banj, Tems, Portable
D'banj, Tems and Portable have had to face the law. Credit: @iambagalee, @temsbaby, @portable
Source: Instagram goes down history to point out some popular Nigerian celebrities who have, at one point in their careers, fallen victim to the hands of the police force and the law.

Some were ignorant of their crime, while others deliberately committed it.

Naira Marley and Zlatan

In May 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Afeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, and Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael, aka Zlatan, during the prime of their careers.

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They were detained in connection with an alleged online fraud and money laundering scheme.

The musicians were arrested along with three other young men.

The commission stated that at the time of arrest, it discovered and recovered various things from the suspects, including laptops.

However, years later, during the release of his highly anticipated debut album, God’s Timing’s The Best, the controversial act claimed that his arrest by the EFCC was God’s plan.

Tems and Omah Lay detained in Uganda

The two sensational Afrobeats stars were detained in Uganda for flouting COVID-19 rules. After two days in police detention, the two were freed.

If convicted, they would have risked up to seven years in jail without the possibility of a fine. Following their return, the Grammy-winning diva and the Soso hitmaker addressed their fans about the situation.

Tems called out a Ugandan artist, Bebe Cool, for orchestrating their arrest and pretending to release them.

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Portable arrested in Ogun

On Friday, March 31, 2023, the street-pop sensation Portable was arrested by the Ogun state police command after refusing to honour their invitation.

Two days before the arrest, the singer had put on a show on his Instagram live channel, raining curses and rough-handling some Nigerian policemen who surfaced at his bar in the Sanga Ota area of Ogun state.

Portable refused to comply with the officers, claiming he was a baboon and could not be arrested. The Ogun Police Command arraigned Portable on five charges, including assault, unruly behaviour, and theft of musical equipment.

The singer’s apprentice reportedly charged Portable with the police. However, the singer said he disciplined and fired his ex-signee after he refused to improve his behaviour.

D'banj arrested for fraud

Many Nigerians were surprised to learn that famed Nigerian entertainer Mr Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo, best known as D’banj, had been arrested and imprisoned by the Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

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In a statement, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the spokesperson of ICPC, stated that D’Banj was arraigned for fraud associated with the N-Power Programme.

Reports disclosed that D’banj conspired with certain corrupt government officials to put bogus beneficiaries on the scheme’s payroll.

The stipend is subsequently paid to those recipients’ accounts, which are now supposedly linked to the pop singer.

Seun Kuti arrested in Lagos

Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti, was detained for allegedly assaulting a police officer, according to Lagos state police.

The Grammy-nominated saxophonist and singer was arrested after a viral video showed him on a road, ranting and possibly assaulting and hitting a police officer, according to authorities.

He surrendered to the Lagos state police command headquarters, escorted by a lawyer representing Falana and Falana Chambers, the law firm of famous human rights activist Femi Falana, SAN.

He regained freedom after one week in detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba area of Lagos.

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Seun Kuti makes changes to his Instagram page

Following his release, Seun Kuti expressed his appreciation to everyone who helped gained his freedom after spending days in detention.

Seun penned a short message to his legal team led by Femi Falana (SAN).

Upon his release, the late Fela Kuti's son adjusted his Instagram biography by including words related to his recent detention.


Chinasa Afigbo avatar

Chinasa Afigbo (Editor) Chinasa Afigbo is a pop culture/music journalist and content writer with over four years of experience in other mainstream media organisations, including Vanguard Media and Guardian Life. She holds a degree in Information Management Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). She also moved on to pursue courses in writing & media communications. Chinasa has also been published in other Intl journals, like The African Report. Reach her at:

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