Police starved Seun Kuti for 24 hours, stopped his wife from serving him meal, says Lawyer
Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat maestro, Fela Kuti, on Tuesday, raised an alarm over the alleged starvation of his client, who was detained by the Nigeria Police.
Kuti’s lawyer, who also faulted an investigation conducted by Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin on the incident, said the singer’s wife was refused the “privilege” of delivering a meal to her husband, despite there was no other arrangement in place to have him fed.
Recall that the afrobeat musician was, on Monday, arrested and handcuffed following his visit to the state police command.
Olumide-Fusika, who made the disclosure in a statement released to newsmen, explained that Kuti would “at the right time and place” defend himself against Hundeyin’s published “investigative findings.”
He said, “Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin who goes by the formal title of Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, but apparently doubles as the Investigating Police Officer into the case of alleged assault of a policeman by my client, Mr. Seun Kuti, has issued a Report of his investigative work.
“Mr. Seun Kuti would have expected that having completed his investigative work, Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin, a law enforcer, would proceed according to law by sending the file containing his report of investigation for legal evaluation towards possible prosecution.
“Mr. Seun Kuti is nevertheless not surprised that Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin chose instead to make his investigative report the subject of media publication, as for instance, in the Punch online publication of Monday May 15, 2023 titled ‘Assault: Seun Kuti apologised, gave cop ₦12,000 to repair vehicle, police say’.
“According to Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin, in his investigative report handed over to The Punch, ‘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.’
“Although he had been with the Police since 8:00am on Monday 15th May, 2023, Mr. Seun Kuti notes that it was at about 8:00pm that day, after Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin had already completed and published his investigative report above, that he was asked to make a statement to the Police at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
“Mr. Seun Kuti has therefore volunteered to his interlocutors a statement to the effect that since Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin has already done the investigation and issued and published his report on it, there was no useful purpose to be served by any statement from him. He will, at the right time and place, and in as rigorous a manner possible under the law, defend himself against Mr. Hundeyin’s published ‘investigative findings’.
“The consequence of this for Mr. Seun Kuti was that his wife was refused the “privilege” of delivering a meal to him, even though there was no other arrangement in place to have him fed. We await the next move of the Police on the allegation of crime against Mr. Seun Kuti.”