Seun Kuti
Photo by Javier Bragado/Redferns

Seun Kuti Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting a Nigerian Police Officer

The Nigerian artist has been arrested after a tense exchange with a police officer.

Seun Kuti, the son of the renowned Afrobeat maestro Fela Kuti, appeared in court on Tuesday following his arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer — an incident that garnered significant attention over the weekend.

On May 13, a video went viral showing the artist on Lagos’s Third Mainland Bridge engaged in a heated exchange. After the video went viral, the Lagos State Police Department announced that an arrest order had been issued.

On Monday morning, the artist voluntarily turned himself into the Lagos State Police Command accompanied by legal counsel and a representative from his family.

Benjamin Hundeyin, a spokesperson for the police department confirmed this through a Twitter statement, emphasizing that the law had taken its course and emphasizing that Kuti had been placed under arrest after what he described as a “serious assault” on a police officer.

Since the 12-second video went viral, details of what actually happened have remained shrouded in uncertainty. There has been speculation about the circumstances that led to the heated confrontation between Kuti and the police officer in the video. Although details surrounding the incident are scarce, Kuti took to social media to express his perspective, alleging that the involved officer had made an attempt on his life and that of his family.

Peter Okoye—who was embroiled in a social media beef with Seun before now—spoke up in his defense.

He took to Twitter to describe the situation as unfortunate, but pleaded with the police department to pardon Kuti.

“When you understand what happens when a man is put in a situation to protect his family from any form of danger, our emotions get the better of us,” a part of his since-deleted tweet read.

“I ask and plead that the #NigerianPoliceForce accept our unreserved apologies for the unfortunate outburst and temper justice with mercy,” he tweeted.

Seun is the youngest son of Fela Kuti, an iconic and charismatic figure who held strong convictions as an activist, fearlessly criticizing Nigeria's military regimes and the pervasive corruption among the country's elite. Despite his passing in 1997, Kuti's legacy continues to resonate powerfully, captivating a dedicated following that endures to this day. Seun has followed in his father’s musical footsteps.