Nigerian artistes arrested in Uganda for flouting Covid-19 rules

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Nigerian singers Stanley Omah Didia popularly known as Omah Lay and Temilade Openyi a.k.a Tems are currently in police custody in Uganda.

The two were arrested over the weekend for flouting Covid-19 rules and were charged in court on Monday.

Ugandan police arrested three Nigerian nationals together with four Ugandans on Sunday in connection with what police say was staging an ‘unauthorized concert’ on Saturday night at the Ddungu Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala.

Images doing rounds showed the artists performing to a huge attendance in the middle of the night.

“The Nigerian trio of Stanley Omah Didia alias Omah Lay, Temilade Openyi alias Tems and Muyiwa Awomiyi have been charged in court in Makindye on charges of Negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious diseases C/S 171 of the Penal Code Act,” police said via their official Twitter handle.

The seven individuals have been remanded until Wednesday.

“The earlier plans of releasing them on police bond were suspended after their case file was sanctioned by the Office of the DPP. They were jointly charged with four other Ugandans. All remanded till Wednesday,” the police said.

Also arrested were Ivan Ddungu, the manager of the resort, and Prim Kasana, the events manager as well as the singer’s manager.

“Police is also looking for the area Officer in Charge of Police Station for failure to detect the criminal acts that took place in his area of jurisdiction,” police had said Sunday.

The organizers of the concert allegedly disguised it as a lunch and dinner event, but later on at night started inviting artists to perform.

The arrest has elicited a wild reaction from Nigerian artists who have called on Ugandan authorities to release the singers.

Nigerian artistes Burna Boy, Davido, Peter Okoye and others have come together under the hash tags #FreeTems #FreeOmahley to call for the artiste’s release.

“They should not be treated like this!  @PoliceUg?! they were invited for a show organised by your citizens, granted visas, tickets were sold publicly on the WORLD WIDE WEB! this anarchy should not be targeted at the artists! #freetems #FreeOmahLay” Burna Boy wrote

“Omo this Ugandan P, how can we help? What can we do? Artists just tryna eat! They didn’t bargain for thisMan facepalming @PoliceUg !!!!! BIG CAP!!” wrote Davido