Seun Kuti opens up on experience in ‘three-person cell’ with 30 inmates

Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti has shared his ordeal during his detention in the police cell, particularly his first day.

The singer in a video posted on Instagram described his experience as difficult.

The singer turned himself in after the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered his arrest after a video of the musician assaulting a police officer surfaced online.

He regained freedom on 23rd May, after one week in detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba area of Lagos.

The singer, the son of legendary Afrobeat star Fela Kuti, disclosed that he was not remanded in Kirikiri prison but was locked up all day in a police cell.

In a live video posted on his Instagram handle, he revealed how he and 30 other inmates were locked up in a dingy cell.

He said, “my first day in prison was difficult. I’ve never gone to prison. Actually I was in the police station. I head that for Kirikiri, they let us out all day and at night you go inside. But for that police station, they just keep you locked down all day.”

“They just keep us locked down inside this room with no light. Like 30-something people in a three-person cell. The heat, eh! The heat and the smell, oh my God! But after two weeks, I got used to it. It just became a routine.”

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A post shared by Seun Kuti (@bigbirdkuti)

Dispelling Rumours

In the 47-minute, 15 seconds long video, the fiery singer delved into different issues ranging from politics and fuel subsidy removal and also dispelled some rumours he heard while he was in detention.

He disclosed that the rumour of beating his wife and being beaten inside the cell was false. According to him, the rumours were just bloggers’ assumptions.

He said, “Suddenly, they said I’m beating my wife. Even my daughter Adara, I’ve never spanked her before. They say them beat me inside the cell. Nobody beat me inside the cell. There were plans, but nothing happened.”

Nigerian Afrobeat star arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer

“They put me in cell one, where you have kidnappers, robbers, rapists and all such. It has no window. You can’t tell the time. Day go just dey break,” Seun Kuti said.

Also, he lamented about the state of the Nigerian prison system and how better inmates should be treated regardless of their crimes.

The singer, who was recently released, also advocated for inmates saying they also deserve to be treated with dignity because, regardless of their offence, they deserve to be treated right.

He said, “The Nigerian prison system needs a serious overhaul. We can only be as good as we treat the worst of us. No matter the crime, we should not detach any human from his dignity as a human. We need to do better as a society and as Nigerians.”

Nigerian Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti freed on bail

What happened?

The Nigerian musician turned himself in for arrest on 15th May 2023 after he allegedly assaulted a police officer.

The arrest of the Grammy-nominated saxophonist was demanded by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba, after an online viral video showed him on the road, shouting and allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Meanwhile, Kuti defended his actions via a post on his Instagram story, alleging that the officer in the video tried to kill him and his family.

He suggested that the officer tried to ram their car. However, he was arrested despite his defence and after eight days in detention, he regained freedom on 23rd May, 2023.

Following his release, he updated his Instagram bio to reflect his time in detention with the words “Senior Marshall, Cell One, Panti”.

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