Fela Kuti Remains My Most Interesting Client - Femi Falana
At the age of 58, late Afro Beat icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti had been arrested 200 times.
He had human rights lawyer, Femi Falana go with him to court or bail him about the same number of times.
During a symposium organized to mark Felabration 2017, Femi Falana talked about his time with the pan-African advocate.
"I was Fela Kuti’s lawyer and I can tell you here, he has been my most interesting client. For many of us fela had the propensity for criminality for many reasons." he said with an air of confidence.
He said before Fela 'committed his crimes' which included speaking against the military government of the day, Fela will tell him:
"I wan go commit offense oh", before explaining to the lawyer that he was only breaching a neo-colonial law and that it was Femi Falana's business to defend him.
"As far as Fela was concerned he will do it, and one thing I found very interesting, is that he would have done his homework.
"All he needed to do was to find a lawyer that will backup his own defense. A defense that you cannot challenge in any court.
"That is how Fela got away with a lot of violations of the legal system".
He also said that he was one of the beneficiaries of the lectures Fela Kuti held across Universities, where the music icon in 2 years delivered about 60 lectures in campuses in the 1980’s just to challenge African's to drop their colonial names and decolonize their minds.
In relation to President Muhamadu Buhari and his fight against corruption; Femi Falana explained that Fela Kuti had already prophesied that capitalism was the new way that foreign governments colonize African and Nigerian minds.
For Fela Corruption is simply an offspring of capitalism.
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"The economy of Africa like Nigeria has remained in the firm grip of imperialism through capitalism. Fela made a declaration that we cannot remove corruption unless we challenge capitalism. What the United States calls Lobbying and PR in governance is actually corruption", he said.