Saturday 20 May 2023

American Rappers, Other Global Artists Join #FreeSeunKuti Campaign, Project

Global music artists, Vic Mensa, Talib Kweli, Rober Glasper and others have joined the #FreeSeunKuti campaign and displayed the Afrobeat musician’s photograph during their concerts.

Naija News House learnt that on Friday night, Talib and Mad Lion had a show in Los Angeles and they projected Seun’s picture.

“Global music artists, Vic Mensa, Talib Kweli and Rober Glasper are supporting #FreeSeunKuti campaign.

“Last night, Talib and Mad Lib had a show in Los Angeles and they projected Seun’s picture,” a source revealed.

SaharaReporters had on Friday reported that some human rights activists unveiled the #FREESEUNKUTI campaign to demand for the immediate release of the detained Afrobeat singer from police custody.

The group had stated this in a press release on Friday, while noting that some officers of the Nigerian police had been deliberately aggravating the incident that led to the arrest of Kuti.

The statement had read, “We, the members of the #FreeSeunKuti campaign, wish to address the recent events precipitated by the alleged altercation between Seun Kuti and a police officer on Third Mainland Bridge. We are deeply concerned about the disproportionate response by the Nigerian Police and the efforts to unjustly target Seun Kuti.

“It is imperative to emphasise that the incident in question (even if it was unprovoked) involves a minor misdemeanor of a physical confrontation between Mr. Kuti and a police officer.

That said, we stand by the explanation by Seun Kuti that the drunk-driving police officer almost shoved him and his family off the Third Mainland Bridge and the altercation on video was his human and emotional reaction after the police tried to justify their action by the use of force. It is therefore crucial to maintain a balanced perspective and not allow the situation to escalate unnecessarily.

“Unfortunately, the actions of certain elements within the police force seem to be driven by a desire to exploit this incident for their own gain and for personal vendetta over Seun Kuti’s role in #EndSARS protests against police brutality, rather than upholding the principles of justice.

We vehemently denounce the search of Mr. Seun Kuti’s residence in the investigation of a different crime when the alleged crime for which he turned himself in is yet to be completely investigated.

“We have it on good authority that the police already know that the policeman in the video is the guilty party based on what happened before and after that video was captured.

This is why the police is yet to present the identity of the policeman in question while lying that he is in coma.

This is why they are pursuing a new crime to nail on him and this pursuit of new crimes is also the basis for the attempt by the police to obtain a court order to draw blood for Seun Kuti to test his blood.

We believe such actions represent a clear violation of his fundamental rights and an abuse of power, as Seun Kuti is not an alien Superman who sucks people blood into his own bloodstream through slaps.

“We call upon the authorities to exercise restraint and to focus on the appropriate channels of justice. Instead of invading Mr. Kuti’s private property or demanding invasive tests such as blood samples, we urge them to prioritize their efforts on addressing the alleged minor offence in a fair and just manner. As a country, we must ensure that our legal system functions as a safeguard for the rights of all citizens, regardless of their social status or profession. The indiscriminate targeting of individuals, especially those who hold dissenting opinions or exercise their right to peaceful protest, undermines the principles of justice and fairness that our society should uphold.

“Mr. Seun Kuti, as an influential musician and social activist, has consistently advocated for the betterment of Nigeria. We believe that he should be treated with the same respect and fairness that every citizen deserves. We request the immediate cessation of any unwarranted intimidation and urge the police authorities to channel their efforts into a fair investigation within the extended detention time given by the court which is Next week Monday. We hope that the law will be administered without prejudice, ensuring that justice prevails in a manner that upholds the principles of the rule of law.

“We call upon the media and the public to remain vigilant and ensure that the pursuit of justice is not overshadowed by a rush to judgment and a vengeful media trial sponsored by the police authorities with taxpayers money. Let us preserve the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and allow due process to take its course.

“We will continue to closely monitor the developments in this case and take all necessary political measures to protect the rights and defend the innocence of Seun Kuti, where necessary, even to the point of public protests.

We understand that the basic issue in this case is the police brutality that Seun Kuti responded to with the reaction caught on video and we are prepared to mobilize mass of Nigerian youths to the streets in protest against that police brutality that we all experience daily as Nigerians.

We will do these until the truth prevails and justice is served for the reckless impunity of the Nigerian police force.”

Recall that Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti, was on Monday arrested and handcuffed following his visit to the state police command.

Naija News House had reported that the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State command had asked the court for a remand order to detain Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, for 21 days after it earlier secretly arraigned him at the Yaba Magistrate Court without notifying his lawyers.

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