Seun Kuti: Nigerian musician in court after arrest for alleged police assault

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Abuja, Nigeria

Nigerian singer and saxophonist Seun Kuti, youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, appeared in court on Tuesday following his arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

A video that surfaced over the weekend showed Kuti having a confrontation with an unarmed policeman on a busy Lagos highway.

Kuti, 40, claimed in a tweet that the officer had tried to harm him and his family, but did not give details about the alleged plot. CNN has contacted the Nigerian police authorities for comment.

A Lagos court denied a request by prosecutors to detain Kuti for 21 days, his lawyer Femi Falana told CNN.

“The police wanted 21 days to detain him further but the court said no. The court gave them 48 hours to grant him bail if they don’t file a charge,” Falana said.

Kuti could face up to three years in prison if convicted of assaulting a police officer, according to Nigerian laws.

Grammy-nominated Kuti turned himself in to authorities Monday, accompanied by his lawyer, after Nigeria’s national police chief ordered his arrest.

A statement from Lagos police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed that Kuti has been placed under arrest while officers investigate the case.

Known for his music activism and outspoken criticism of the government, Kuti has been a vocal advocate against police brutality.

Together with his late father’s former band, Egypt 80, which he now leads, Seun Kuti has performed for audiences worldwide, touring extensively in the United States, France, Japan, and the UK.

With his brother Femi, Kuti has carried forward the Afrobeat legacy of his father who died in 1997. Seun Kuti’s fourth album, “Black Times,” earned a received a Grammy nomination in 2019.


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