Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention, Says Police Trial is Political

Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention
Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention

The youth rights campaign (YRC) has demanded for the release of the Nigerian afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti from the custody of the Nigerian police force, saying that he has fulfilled his bail conditions.

The YRC, acknowledging that Kuti’s trial is driven by political motives, also called for a suitable punishment for the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, and other officers who, as stated by the YRC, unlawfully acted in their endeavor to incriminate Seun.

The assembly that made the demand in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Michael Adaramoye Lenin, and the National Secretary, Francis, Nwapa, define Seun’s ordeal with the police as an occultist pursuit and required a fair-minded trial for him “if truly the policy have a genuine case.”

Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention
Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention

The YRC expressed that the current legal proceedings involving Seun Kuti, accused of assaulting a police officer, have transformed into a politically motivated trial and personal vendetta. This situation poses a risk to the rights of all individuals. The YRC argues that the police authorities have violated numerous laws and engaged in various misconducts in their zealous pursuit to incriminate Seun Kuti. Therefore, this trial can no longer be considered fair by any reasonable person.

“Specifically, we strongly criticize the unforgiving and wrong behavior of the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, and we call for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against him and other officers who have violated multiple laws while trying to incriminate Seun”. This includes subjecting him to an unjust media trial instead of allowing the court to carry out its proper reports.

Seun Kuti Taken to Court

Seun Kuti, an influential musician and the son of the renowned musician and social activist, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, voluntarily surrendered himself to authorities on Monday, May 15, 2023. He was subsequently arrested, taken to court, and detained following an incident involving a confrontation with a police officer on Saturday, May 13, 2023, which took place on the Third Mainland Bridge.

Furthermore, the police have displayed unprofessional and malicious behavior towards Seun, aiming to humiliate him, thereby disregarding the fundamental principles of natural justice that presume the innocence of the accused until proven guilty. A clear example of this is when Seun, despite peacefully surrendering himself, was handcuffed, which directly violates Section 5 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention
Youth Rights Campaign Demands Release of Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti from Detention

According to the YRC, Seun Kuti was publicly showcased in front of media cameras, which is believed to be a violation of Section 9 of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, prohibiting the public display of criminal suspects in the state. Furthermore, Seun has allegedly been deprived of proper sustenance while in detention, while the police have conducted a search of his residence despite the alleged crime occurring at a considerable distance from his home and during daylight hours.

Police Re-Arraigned Seun in Court Without His Lawyers May 18

Seun was brought back to court for a new hearing without the presence of his legal representatives by the police yesterday may 18, even though he had already been granted bail by the Magistrate. This bail was effective starting yesterday. In the absence of Seun’s lawyers, the police managed to obtain an unofficial order from an unauthorized source to extend his detention until Monday.

This is evidently an attempt to fabricate fresh accusations against Seun, indicating that the trial encompasses more than just his alleged actions on May 13. It is apparent to all that what is being put on trial in this case is Seun’s role as an activist and vocal critic of the State and government, particularly his support for the youth protests in October 2020 against police brutality and government oppression.

The intentions of the police are clear they aim to use Seun Kuti as a means to convey a message to the labor and youth movement. Consequently, this has transformed into a political trial with the objective of retaliating against those who consistently speak out against the police institution’s acts of impunity towards the Nigerian people.

Considering the unjust and biased proceedings surrounding Seun Kuti’s trial, along with the evident desperation of the police to unjustly imprison him, the YRC firmly insists on his immediate release. It is important to note that Seun has already fulfilled the requirements for his bail, further emphasizing the urgency of his release.

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By Dee

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