Released on bail, Nigerian Kuti begins concert tour amid assault trial

Nigerian Afrobeat star Seun Kuti, who is facing trial for assaulting a police officer, will embark on a delayed concert tour after being released on bail, his manager announced on Wednesday.


FILE – Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat music legend Fela Kuti, performs at ‘Felabration’, an annual event honoring his father, at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria October 20, 2013. Kuti, who faces trial charged with assault by police will embark on a delayed music tour after being released on bail, his manager said Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

The Associated Press

Lagos, Nigeria — A Nigerian Afrobeat star facing trial for assaulting a police officer will embark on a delayed concert tour after being released on bail, his manager announced on Wednesday.

Seun Kuti, who was in court on Wednesday, has concerts scheduled in more than a dozen countries but his departure had been put on hold due to the lawsuit, his manager Ayo Moses told The Associated Press.

Son of Nigerian musical icon and political agitator Fela Kuti, himself serially detained by Nigeria’s military regimes, Seun Kuti was detained for more than a week after he was caught assaulting a police officer in the center Nigerian economy in Lagos.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the presiding judge ruled that it was the Crown – not the police – who had the power to prosecute the musician. The judge then adjourned the case until a new hearing on July 3.

“He is out on bail and as a responsible citizen he will continue to enjoy his rights as he is presumed innocent,” Femi Falana, his lawyer, said after the hearing.

Viral videos appeared to show an agitated Kuti shouting and pushing the officer along a main road in Lagos last week. It is still unclear what caused the confrontation, although Kuti alleged that the officer in question “tried to kill me and my family”.

While in custody, police searched Kuti’s house, causing an outcry among some Nigerians and his lawyers. But Benjamin Hundeyin, a Lagos police spokesman, defended the search as necessary and approved by the court.

“During our investigation, we came across some suspicious things that needed to be proven/disproved beyond reasonable doubt,” Hundeyin said without providing further details.


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