Seun Kuti ‘s Prominent lawyers and Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Femi Falana and Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, who are representing Afrobeat musician, have stated that their client’s recent travel to Switzerland is entirely lawful and does not constitute a violation of his bail conditions or any legal requirements.
According to the legal experts, Seun Kuti is not currently facing prosecution in court by the Nigeria Police Force or any other prosecuting authority. This clarification comes in light of the musician’s departure to Switzerland on Thursday to commence his European tour in Zurich.
Seun Kuti himself confirmed his travel plans through an Instagram story post, sharing a picture of himself on the plane with the caption, “Euro tour kicks off tonight in Zurich.”
In response to inquiries made on Thursday, Femi Falana emphasized that Seun Kuti will fully participate in his trial as ordered by the magistrate. Falana further highlighted that the police have been directed to forward the case file to the Department of Public Prosecution.
Falana stated, “Seun Kuti is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. As far as we’re concerned, once the state files charges and a date is set for arraignment, he will be present in court. There is nothing illegal about traveling abroad while on bail. Surrendering his passport was not a bail condition.”
Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, added that Seun Kuti is currently not facing prosecution and it is the responsibility of the Department of Public Prosecution to determine the charges once they receive the case file. Olumide-Fusika confirmed that Seun Kuti will appear in court on July 3, 2023, as required.
It is important to note that the police had initially sought permission from the court to prosecute Kuti, citing Section 23 of the Police Act, which grants them the power to both arrest and prosecute suspects. However, the Yaba Magistrates Court ruled that the police cannot act as both the complainant and the prosecutor simultaneously.
The court sought the advice of the Department of Public Prosecution to determine whether Kuti should face prosecution. Consequently, the case was adjourned until July 3, 2023, awaiting the DPP’s advice.
Efforts to obtain comments from the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, were unsuccessful as he stated that he was not authorized to speak on the matter. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police Simon Lough, who is the Head of Chambers, Nigeria Police Force, did not respond to calls and text messages from our correspondent.
In conclusion, Seun Kuti’s legal travel to Switzerland amidst his ongoing case has been clarified by his legal representatives, who assert that his actions are well within the boundaries of the law. Seun Kuti will continue to cooperate with the legal proceedings, appearing in court when required, and awaits the decision of the Department of Public Prosecution regarding the specific charges he will face.