Officer in Coma because of Slap? Fayose's Ex-Aide Reveals Alleged Reason Police Are after Seun Kuti

Officer in Coma because of Slap? Fayose's Ex-Aide Reveals Alleged Reason Police Are after Seun Kuti

  • Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti has recently been involved in a clash with a police officer on the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, generating mixed reactions among netizens
  • Caught on camera physically assaulting the officer after a collision, Kuti verbally insulted, slapped, pushed, and dragged him
  • Following the incident, the Inspector General of Police ordered Kuti's immediate arrest, leading him to turn himself in
  • Various individuals, including Lere Olayinka, a former aide of ex-Governor Fayose, a lawyer, and a political activist, have shared contrasting views on the matter

Lagos, Nigeria - Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons. His ordeal has continued to generate reactions among netizens who have varied verdicts on his conduct during his clash with a police officer on the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

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Seun Anikulapo Kuti/Police/EndSARS protest
Nigeria police have arrested Seun Anikulapo Kuti over an assault against an officer in Lagos. Photo credit: @RealSeunKuti, @BenHundeyin
Source: Twitter

The genesis of Seun Kuti's problem with police

Kuti, the son of the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was caught on camera during the weekend physically assaulting a police officer when the officer's vehicle ran into his.

In the video, the afrobeat singer had heaped insults on the officer while also slapping, pushing and dragging him.

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The officer who never reacted kept his calm until some persons intervened. Femi Kuti, again, claimed that the officer, before leaving the 3rd Mainland Bridge, apologised for his action as what he did was an attempt on his life and his family members.

IGP orders Seun Kuti's arrest

But soon after then, the Inspector General Police (IGP) Usman Akali ordered the immediate arrest of the artiste, urging the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to carry out the job with immediate effect.

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The singer, however, did not wait for that to happen before turning himself in.

But despite his decision to appear before the police without an official arrest, he was handcuffed and detained.

The decision to handcuff him and post his photos on the internet has continued to cause divided opinions on the matter.

While some persons believe he deserves whatever he gets, others have argued that the police must carry out their job in line with their standards and not be vindictive. The latter believe the police's current action appears like an act of revenge over Kuti's role in the EndSARS protest.

Seun Kuti and the EndSARS saga

Recall that the Afrobeat singer was one of those at the forefront of the EndSARS protest. At a time during the protest, Seun Kuti was of the opinion that the demands by the protesters were too weak and appeared like they were fighting for the welfare of the police.

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Calling for the review of the 5 for 5 demands of the protest, Kuti had said:

“It’s like we’re fighting for police to live a better life. It is not the duty of Nigerians to fight for police to have better salaries. If police don’t like their salary and welfare, let them strike and protest."

Also, recall that due to his frontline role during the protest that shut down the entire country, police invaded his house to have him arrested. It was, however, learnt that he was not within the family house during the invasion, but some family members were harassed.

A group then known as the Movement of the People (MOP) had said despite the attempt to arrest Kuti, he would continue to speak truth to power.

It said:

"Seun Kuti is one of the strategy figures of the #EndSARS Movement who remains vocal despite mounting attacks and intimidation from the oppressive Nigerian government. He is one of the leaders of the developing socialist-oriented political organisation of the toiling masses and youth, Movement of the People."

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Though EndSARS was aimed at ending police brutality, some Nigerians, including Kuti had insisted on a total reform nationally. This never happened, as the protest ended without addressing many issues.

Lere Olayinka speaks on Seun's treatment, EndSARS

Responding exclusively to Legit.ng on Seun Kuti's ordeal, a former aide to Ayodele Fayose, ex-Ekiti State Governor, Lere Olayinka, said the position of the police on the matter shows that they are vindictive in their action, and it appears like payback time for Kuti's EndSARS roles.

According to him:

"Why are they going to court to seek 21 days detention on top an offense with video evidence? What are they still investigating?
"Then they are claiming that the slapped police officer was still in coma. Coma? A police officer going into coma because of a slap? Such person has no business being in the police force."

While agreeing that Kuti deserves to be prosecuted for slapping an officer, Lere said handcuffing him was unnecessary.

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He said:

"He was not arrested. He surrendered himself to the police. He deserves to be prosecuted. But it was wrong for the police to have handcuffed him."

Kuti's action a carryover of EndSARS anger, says Christopher Otene

However, Christopher Otene, a political activist and commentator, has a contrary view. According to him, Seun Kuti transferred the endSARS anger on the officer who ran into his vehicle.

"What Seun Kuti did was a total disdain and humiliation of the officer of the law, and we must be very clear about it. I would think that the EndSARS is over but not over yet.
"What he did revealed his longtime hatred for the police. I think he deserves what he is getting," he said.

Already, the police had explained why the artiste was handcuffed. The spokesman of the Lagos state police command, Benjamin Hundeyin, said Kuti was handcuffed because that is the normal procedure in such an offence.

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Lawyer takes position

Commenting on the development, Barrister Adoyi Abakpa, a popular Port Harcourt human rights lawyer, said:

"To slap or assault a police officer or any law enforcement officer at all is not good. It is a breach of the law. But the law should not be enforced against civilians alone.
"Many times, the police have slapped and assaulted civilians and went away unpunished. Henceforth, if any police or military officer does this to anyone, the fellow should demand his handcuff."

Seun Kuti to spend more days in prison

Meanwhile, a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos has approved a request to prolong Seun Kuti’s remand for an extra four days.

The Chief Magistrate, Adeola Olatubosun, extended Kuti's remand until May 22.

Simon Lough (SAN) filed the application, and he was joined in court by a number of police attorneys.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Nurudeen Lawal avatar

Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at Legit.ng, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at lawal.nurudeen@corp.legit.ng or +2347057737768.

Adoyi Ali avatar

Adoyi Ali Ali Adoyi is a prolific writer and a graduate of the Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State. Adoyi holds a B.A Theatre and Communications Arts. He has bagged many awards both in academics and in journalism. Some of the awards are 10 years Journalism Merit Award, Best graduating student (Dept) Most Outstanding student (Faculty), and others. Adoyi can be reached here: adoyi.ali@corp.legit.ng

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