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Friday, May 26, 2023

Seun Kuti’s Travel Lawful, Won’t Jump Bail – Counsels

Nigerian senior defense attorneys Femi Falana and Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, both lawyers for Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti, said it was not illegal or unlawful for their client to travel to Switzerland on Thursday in a case the police are handling.

The senior lawyer also noted that Kuti is not currently being charged in court by the Nigerian Police Force or any other prosecution authority.

According to PUNCH, the musician flew to Switzerland on Thursday to start his European tour in Zurich.

Mr Cutie confirmed this on his Instagram Story on Thursday, while sharing a photo of him on the plane with the caption “European Tour kicks off tonight in Zurich”.

The singer was released on bail on Tuesday night after spending nine days in police custody on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

Responding to the developments after being questioned by our reporter on Thursday, Farana said: “Seun Kuti will stand trial. Also, the magistrate has ordered the police to send the case files to the Ministry of Public Prosecutions.

“Any time he needs to stand trial, he will appear in court. Seun Kuti is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. As far as we are concerned, he will appear in court once the state has filed charges and set an arraignment date

“It is not illegal for a person to travel abroad while on bail. The issue of depositing his passport is not one of the conditions of his bail. As far as we are concerned, once the country charges and sets an arraignment date.”

However, SAN’s Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika noted that Seun Kuti is not currently being prosecuted, adding that it will be up to the DDP to make a decision on the matter once the case file is received.

Olumide-Fusika said: “He will definitely appear in court on July 3, 2023, and he has to appear in court every day. However, it should be noted that neither the National Police nor any other prosecution authority, Mr. Seun Kuti is in court. been prosecuted.

“The prosecutor, after receiving and studying the investigative documents from the police, will decide on the offenses Mr. Cootie will be charged with. After being charged with a specific offence, Mr. Cootie will be arraigned to accept his plea. If he does not Plead guilty, a trial date will be set and then proceed. If he pleads guilty, he will be sentenced to the appropriate punishment.”

PUNCH reported that the police had earlier won the court case, granting him the right to prosecute Kuti, noting that Section 23 of the Police Act gives the police the power not only to arrest the suspect but also to prosecute him.

On Wednesday, the police prosecution team, headed by Moruf Animashorn, applied to withdraw the remand application made in court on May 16 and issue a proper arraignment to the accused in order to focus on his prosecution.

However, the Yaba District Court in Adeola Olatunbosun ruled on Wednesday that the police cannot be the plaintiff and the prosecutor at the same time.

“I need advice from the DPP to know whether he should be prosecuted,” Olatubosson said.

Therefore, she adjourned the case until July 3, 2023, to seek advice from the DPP.

When contacted for comment, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer Benjamin Hundeyin said he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

“I am not authorized to speak on the matter of Seun Kuti, please. Please contact the Nigerian Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Simon Lough, SAN,” said Hundeyin.

However, DCP Lough did not return phone calls and text messages from this reporter on Thursday.

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