A Lagos State Chief Magistrates Court sitting in Yaba yesterday remanded Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti in police custody for four additional days to enable the police to conclude its investigation into an allegation of assault brought against him.
Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun granted the additional days after entertaining an ex-parte application brought by the police. LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the Magistrate had on May 16, 2023, remanded the defendant in police custody for 48 hours, which elapsed Thursday afternoon, after he was charged before her by the police over allegation of assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
But instead of releasing the defendant as ordered by the court, the police, through its lawyer, Simon Lough (SAN), had urged the court to allow the police to continue to keep the musician in its custody for four more days at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba, Lagos, to enable it to carry out further investigation.
While moving the ex-parte application, Lough told the court that the application was brought under sections 264(1), (2), (3), (4) & (6) & 257 of Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2021 (As Amended), sections 4 & 10 of the Police Act, 2020 and sections 6(6), 35(1)(C), (5) & (7)(9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended).
The police lawyer further submitted that, “from the facts, nature, and circumstance of this case, the applicant is entitled to the relief sought from this honourable court in the interest of justice, public order and morality”. An attempt by one of the defence counsel, Femi Akinyemi, to get the magistrate to stand down the case to allow the lead counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), to go to court and raise objections to the application was rejected by the magistrate.
Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun granted the prosecution’s prayer for an extension of the remand order and then adjourned the case until May 23 for mention. At the court’s last sitting, an investigating police officer, Lekan Ogundare, informed the court that the defendant committed the offence on May 13 on the Third Mainland Bridge. Ogundare claimed the defendant drove dangerously on the bridge and deliberately blocked a moving police vehicle.
He also alleged that the defendant grabbed Inspector Mohammed Aminu, attached to the Police Training College, Ikeja, while on official movement and in police uniform. Ogundare further told the court that the defendant slapped Aminu several times on his face. He insisted that the one-count charge of assault is contrary to Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.