Nigerian world music star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti refuses to get used to the
government busting down his door every few months to check his home for drugs.
The 58-year-old singer, who has a history of arrests on drug charges and has
courted controversy in the past by publicly condemning the Nigerian government
and performing in his skivvies, fought back this time by filing a
million-dollar lawsuit against Nigeria's anti-narcotics agency.
a $1.2 million lawsuit for "unlawful arrest and detention" in a Lagos court on
Monday (April 14) against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for
alleged violation of his human rights, according to a Reuter news
report. The suit stems from a raid of the singer's compound and nightclub, The
Shrine, last week, during which Kuti and 100 others were arrested for alleged
possession of large quantities of marijuana.
The commander of the NDLEA,
Maj. Gen. Musa Bamaiyi, said at a news conference last Friday (April 11) that
his agency had offered Kuti drug counseling and that "unspecified action" would
be taken against the those arrested, who are being detained at NDLEA
headquarters. At a same news conference, Kuti countered the charges by
insisting that he smoke "grass," not drugs. He told reporters, "I have been
smoking for 40 years. It helps my music. People know I smoke worldwide. It is
not drugs, it is grass."