The PUNCH has exclusively gathered that following the incident that led to the arrest and detention of Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti on Monday, the suspect had apologised and given the sum of ₦12,000 to the assaulted officer to repair his damaged vehicle on Saturday.
Impeccable sources privy to the incident confirmed the development to our correspondent on Monday, adding that the officer had trailed Seun Kuti to his Akin Osiyemi residence off Allen Avenue, Ikeja after the musician bashed his vehicle on the Third Mainland bridge.
A source said, “Seun Kuti was the one that bashed the officer’s vehicle, and the policeman followed him to call his attention to it, but the musician alighted from his car and slapped the policeman as seen in the trending video. However, the officer reported the incident at the Police Command in Ikeja.”
“The policeman was alone. After the altercation, he followed Seun Kuti to his home in Ikeja, and the musician apologised to the policeman and gave him ₦12,000 to repair his damaged vehicle.
“But the officer reported the incident at the Area F Police Command in Ikeja, and deposited the ₦12,000 at the counter while he gave a written statement concerning the incident,” another source said.
The PUNCH reports that Seun Kuti is currently being held at the State Criminal Investigation Department, popularly known as Panti, in Yaba, Lagos State, following a visit to the FCID over the alleged assault.
The musician was accompanied by a lawyer representing Falana and Falana Chambers, the law firm of popular human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN.
Our correspondent exclusively obtained a video clip and pictures showing the musician in handcuffs while being paraded by police officers at the SCID, Lagos.
Responding to an inquiry concerning Ṣeun’s apology and monetary tip, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said Seun Kuti had on Saturday apologised to the assaulted policeman and given him the sum of ₦12,000 for vehicle repair.
Hundeyin said, “Although the investigation is still ongoing, but your correspondence is correct. Seun Kuti apologized to the officer on Saturday, and gave him ₦12,000 to repair his damaged vehicle, after the officer followed him to his house in Ikeja after the altercation.
“Fortunately, the policeman had earlier reported the incident at the Area F Police Command, and deposited the ₦12,000 with the Command, before the video of the assault went viral on social media.”
The PUNCH reported that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba had earlier ordered the arrest of the musician.
The IG equally ordered a speedy and full investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the alleged assault and prosecution of the suspect accordingly.
This was as the musician alleged attempted murder of himself and his family by the police officer in question, in a social media post obtained by our correspondent on Saturday night.
However, following the IG’s order for his arrest, Mr. Kuti in another Instagram post, said, “I welcome the investigation and will give my full cooperation! I also pray to the IG that whoever is wrong should be indicted.”
This was as the Police Service Commission demands the immediate prosecution of the musician, adding that no one has the right to assault a policeman in uniform and on official duty, no matter the offence committed by the police officer.
Following the development, Falana, SAN, said the musician had sought his legal services, adding that Seun Kuti has evidence to defend his action.
Falana said, “I am his lawyer and he has briefed me. He certainly has evidence. This is not the first time he is dealing with the police.
“He (Seun) is going to report himself to the police tomorrow morning. There is no problem at all.”
Musician risks three years imprisonment
According to section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act, if found guilty of assault against the yet-to-be-named police officer, Ṣeun Kuti is liable to spend three years in prison.
The Act reads,“ Anyone who assaults, resists, or willfully obstructs a police officer while acting in the execution of his duty, or any person acting in aid of a police officer while so acting is guilty of felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.”
The PUNCH reports that Kuti in a 12-second video clip which went viral on Saturday showed Kuti, who wore a red shirt and white pair of trousers, pushing a policeman, who stood beside a Toyota Hilux police van. He then proceeded to slap the cop, as he shouted, “You dey craze, you dey mad?”
A motorist, who filmed the incident from his car, was heard saying, “Omo na Kuti o. Na better news be this o.”
PSC demands musician’s prosecution
The Police Service Commission has demanded the immediate prosecution of Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, over alleged assault on a police officer on the Third Mainland bridge in Lagos State on Saturday.
The PSC Chairman, Dr. Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector-General of Police, said Seun’s arraignment would serve as a deterrent to other citizens, adding that no one has the right to assault a policeman in uniform and on official duty, no matter the offence committed by a police officer.