The police in Uganda have dropped charges against Nigerian trio of Stanley Didia, aka Omah Lay; Temilade Openyi, alias Ms Tems; and Muyiwa Awomiyi. A Ugandan musician also Tweeted that the Nigerians have been freed.
Ugandan pop star-turned-politician, Bobi Wine, announced Tuesday on Twitter that his lawyers joined in representing Omah Lay, Ms Tems, her manager, and the Ugandans charged.
‘‘Delighted to see the illegal & unfair charges dropped! Evidence that voices matter, that people power can force the people in power to act. We must never underestimate our potential!’’ his tweets partly read.
Bobi Wine, who is contesting against President Museveni who has led Uganda for over 30 years, also shared more information on his official Twitter handle.
Responding to Omah Lay’s earlier tweets wherein he questioned why he was being detained and handcuffed by Ugandan police, Bobi Wine said, ‘‘There is no rule of law in Uganda. This country runs on orders from a small circle of oppressors who dispense orders that are implemented without question. There’s absolutely no reason why our brothers should still be detained yet their concert was under police watch.’’
Speaking further, the vocal artiste who has a large youth following on social media and has become a thorn in the flesh of President Museveni, revealed that Omah Lay’s arrest isn’t about COVID-19.
According to him, their arrest is an act of shame by a corrupt regime that operates on double standards.
He noted, ‘‘He obtained a work permit & performed under police protection! Why arrest him? This as pro-Museveni artists stage street concerts unmolested’’!
As I announced today, my lawyers joined in representing @Omah_Lay, Tems & the Ugandans charged. Delighted to see the illegal & unfair charges dropped! Evidence that voices matter, that PEOPLE POWER can force the people in power to act. We must never underestimate our potential! pic.twitter.com/53LT8DTbkr
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) December 15, 2020
Similarly, Bebe Cool, a popular Ugandan musician, also said that he used his celebrity status to secure the release of the two singers and their co-accused. He said he worked closely with Uganda police and the judiciary to secure their release.
“We got our brothers and sister out! #OmahLay #Tems #OneAfrica,” Bebe Cool tweeted after their release.
Interestingly, Bebe Cool, was accused of instigating the arrests after he said he would make ‘‘every effort to fail their event.”
Prior to the concert, Bebe Cool had asked the show promoter to cancel the concert since Ugandan artistes had been banned from performing for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Omah Lay and Ms Tems were arrested by officers of the Uganda police for flouting COVID-19 guidelines shortly after their performance at The Big Brunch, a concert, that held at Speke Resort, Kampala, on Saturday night.
The show, which is the first music concert in Uganda since the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were imposed by President Museveni, was sold out.
They were charged in a magistrate court in Makindye, Uganda, on Monday for “negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease C/S 171 of the Penal Code Act.”
The Ugandan police said earlier plans of releasing them on police bond were suspended after their casefile was sanctioned by the Office of the DPP.
They were jointly charged with four other Ugandans and remanded till Wednesday. Their detention on Monday drew widespread criticism by Nigerians and Ugandan musicians who had earlier accused the Ugandan government of double standards.
Their detention pitted Nigerian musicians, Ugandan stars, and their fans against each other.
Notably, Nigerians had begun an online campaign urging the MTV Mama Awards organisers to suspend the event, and Nigerian artistes nominated for the awards to boycott the event.
The seventh MTV Africa Music Awards is billed to hold in Uganda on February 20, 2021