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Absence of Magistrate Stalls Seun Kuti’s Trial As Lawyers Remain ‘Hopeful’ of Release Today
The Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday failed to sit in the case against Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat maestro, Fela Kuti.
Our correspondent learnt that Magistrate Adeola Olatubosun who has been hearing the case, is away on a training.
Kuti was brought to the magistrates’ court but upon learning of the absence of the magistrate, he was immediately taken back to the police station at Panti.
The case has been adjourned till Wednesday, May 24.
Kuti was apprehended on May 15 after he was filmed assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge.
The musician was detained at the state criminal investigation Department (SCID) and arraigned before the magistrate’s court on May 16.
The police had sought to get an order to further keep him in custody for 21 days pending the conclusion of its investigation.
But the cpurt directed the police to detain Kuti for additional 48 hours and then release him on bail.
Last Thursday, the magistrate extended the musician’s remand for additional four days to enable the police continue with its investigation.
She also ordered that his file be duplicated and sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and subsequently adjourned the trial till May 22.
The trial was, however, shifted to Tuesday.
Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, and Kunle Adegoke, the counsels to Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat maestro, Fela Kuti, said the embattled singer will be released today (Tuesday).
Kuti’s lawyers made the remark in a statement they jointly signed and released to the media the release of Mr Kuti on bail, as ordered by the Magistrate, is only waiting for administrative approval.
The statement reads, “The purpose of today’s sitting was to receive the Lagos DPP’s advice.”
“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.
“The court was, therefore, to sit today to receive the DPP’s advice, but did not because, as we’re informed, the Magistrate is attending a training course. However, the advice of the DPP is not ready as the police investigation team is still holding on to the case file.
“Nevertheless, the release of Mr Kuti on bail, as ordered by the Magistrate, is only waiting for administrative approval. That process has nothing to do with whether or not the court has a physical sitting. We are hopeful that Mr Kuti will be out today on the bail granted him, having fulfilled the terms.”
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