Mrs. Adeola Olatunbosun’s Yaba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, issued a ruling stating that the police could not simultaneously serve as the complainant and the prosecution.
This was said by the magistrate on Wednesday morning as she sat in her nearly full court during the Police prosecuting team’s demand to arraign and prosecute the embattled Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti.
The police prosecuting team, under the direction of Morufu Animashaun, requested the court to dismiss the remand motion that was made on May 16 so that they could properly arraign the defendant and concentrate on their case.
Though they pointed out that the remand application had already expired, Seun’s legal team, lead by Femi Falana, SAN, objected to Kuti’s police arraignment and prosecution rather than the vacation of the remand application.
The musician’s legal team held that the police had violated the court order of May 16, ordering the police to duplicate the case file and transmit the same to the DPP within 72 hours.
The defence team, therefore, prayed to the court to allow the DPP to prosecute the case instead of the police so that it would be devoid of any form of bias.
The police had earlier prevailed on the court to grant it the right to prosecute Kuti, stating that Section 23 of the Police Act gives the police the right to not only arrest but also prosecute suspects.
The police cannot be both the complainant and the prosecution at the same time, according to Magistrate Olatunbosun’s judgement.
She remarked, “I need the DPP’s opinion to know whether or not he should be prosecuted.”
As a result, she adjourned the case to July 3, 2023, pending the DPP’s opinion.
Recall that on May 16, the police requested a remand order to keep the musician in custody for 21 days while they completed their investigation. The magistrate, Olatunbosun, dismissed the request and granted the defendant bail, ordering that he be remanded for 48 hours.
She had also added that the case file be duplicated and sent to the DPP for legal advice within 72 hours, and the case adjourned to May 23.
However, the police approached the court after the expiration of the 48 hours seeking to retain the defendant for four more days, so that it could conclude its investigation. The police request was granted and the plea was upheld.