Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti has shared his ordeal during his detention in a police cell, particularly on his first day, describing it as difficult.
The singer had turned himself in after the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered his arrest following a video surfacing online of the musician assaulting a police officer.
He regained his freedom on May 23, after spending one week in detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, in the Yaba area of Lagos.
The singer, 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 had never been to prison before. I was in a cell, locked up in the police station. They didn’t remand me to Kirikiri or anything, but I heard that in Kirikiri, they let you out during the day, and you only go back inside at night. But in that police station, they just keep you locked down all day.”
“They just kept us locked down inside this room with no light. There were like 30-something people in a three-person cell. The heat, oh! The heat and the smell, oh my God! But after two weeks, I got used to it. It just became routine.”
In the 47-minute and 15-second long video, the fiery singer delved into various issues, including politics, fuel subsidy removal, and dispelled some rumors he had heard while in prison.
He disclosed that the rumors of him beating his wife and being beaten inside the cell were false. According to him, none of those things ever happened; they were merely assumptions made by bloggers.
He said, “Suddenly, they said I was beating my wife. I’ve never spanked my daughter Adara before. They said they beat me inside the cell. Nobody beat me inside the cell. There were plans, but nothing happened.”
“They put me in cell one, where there were kidnappers, robbers, rapists, and such. It had no window, and you couldn’t tell the time. The day would just break, but you wouldn’t know.”
He also lamented the state of the Nigerian prison system and how better treatment should be provided to inmates, regardless of their crimes.
The recently released singer also advocated for the humane treatment of inmates, stating that they deserve to be treated with dignity regardless of their offenses.
He said, “The Nigerian prison system needs a serious overhaul. We can only be as good as how we treat the worst among us. Regardless of the crime, we should not strip any human of their dignity. We need to do better as a society and as Nigerians.”