Nigeria: Group protests outside court over Seun Kuti’s delayed release

Nigerian protesters held a demonstration on Tuesday to demand the release of Afrobeat star Seun Kuti, who was arrested earlier this month after being accused of assaulting a police officer in the commercial hub of Lagos.

Kuti is the son of Nigerian musical icon and political agitator Fela, who himself was serially detained by Nigerian military regimes.

Despite meeting the requirements for his bail, the police have refused to release him.

Originally scheduled for May 23, Kuti’s court appearance was delayed as the presiding Magistrate Justice was absent, without an official explanation.

The court clerk confirmed that the case has been adjourned until Wednesday.

Outside the court, a group identifying themselves as members of the “Free Seun Kuti campaign” staged a protest, demanding the immediate release of the artist.

Gideon Adeyeni, one of the protesters campaigning for Kuti’s release, said the way the government and the police have dealt with him shows that they are “interested in persecuting him.”

Kuti was charged by the Lagos State Police Command with assaulting a police officer.

The incident between Seun Kuti and the police officer was captured on video by a passer-by and shared on social media, quickly going viral.

The police then issued a warrant for his arrest, and he voluntarily turned himself in to the Lagos police.

During court proceedings, the police prosecutor requested that the defendant be remanded for 21 days until legal advice is received from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Seun’s defense team has opposed this motion.

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