The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court, Yaba, yesterday, refused an application by the police to formally arraign Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti.
Kuti, who was released from custody on Tuesday night, had been on remand for six days on the orders of the court. The police had, on May 16, applied for remand of the musician over alleged assault on a police officer.
Yesterday, Mr. Cyril Ejiofor, who led a police legal team to the court, applied to the court to allow the arraignment of the singer. He said the application was to formally bring charges against Kuti.
However, an attempt by the police to arraign the suspect was kicked against by his counsel, Femi Falana, SAN. Falana noted that the police were just presenting fresh charges to his client in court, instead of the 48 hours prescribed by law and, as a result, failed to provide the defendant with adequate time to prepare his defence.
Secondly, following the chief magistrate’s order that the case file be sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Falana described the police prosecutor’s latest effort as contemptuous of the court order. The chief magistrate had given an order to the police to seek DPP’s legal advice on May 16 2023, but they refused to adhere to the order. Falana, thereafter, told the court that they couldn’t prosecute unless they appealed the magistrate’s order.
“The court, as you will recall, had ordered that the prosecution of the case must be by the DPP’s office and not by the police, hence, the police was also ordered to send the case file to the DPP for evaluation and decision as to prosecution,” Falana said.
He urged the court not to let the police prosecute and investigate at the same time. Falana also urged that the order given by the court should not be disregarded. The case was, therefore, adjourned till July 3 for legal advice from the DPP.