Nigerian singers Omah Lay and Tems are finally free.
The fast-rising artists from the West African nation were released from police custody in Uganda on Tuesday night (15.12.2020) after charges against them for breaching Covid-19 rules were dropped.
According to court documents, the Ugandan government ordered the prison where the singers and their manager, Muyiwa Awoniyi have been held for the last three days to release them as charges against them “had been withdrawn.”
As earlier reported by The Sauce, the musicians, their manager, and four others were arrested for breaching coronavirus rules when they held a concert on Saturday in the capital, Kampala.
They were charged on Monday for “negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease” and police said they will be detained until Wednesday.
Following the arrest Nigerian musicians put up a united front in demanding for the release of their colleagues using the hashtags #FreeOmahLay #FreeTems.
In posts on their social media pages, the singers led by among others Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Patoranking and Fireboy DML defended Omah Lay and Tems saying it was wrong for them to be arrested by the same authorities that allowed them into Uganda.
Burna Boy on his part noted that anarchy should not be targeted at artists. Dancehall singer Patoranking in a tweet said: “Arresting Omah Lay and Tems Makes no sense at all… Uganda This is Sad #FreeTems #FreeOmahLay.”
Davido noted that Omah Lay and Tems were just trying to make a living out of their talent and did not deserve such a treatment in the hands of the police.
Uganda presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine also criticized the arrest of the artists. In a message via social media, the 38-year-old accused President Yoweri Museveni’s government of double standards in implementing laws aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
Bobi Wine wondered why the singers had been granted a work permit and even performed under police protection only to be later arrested while Museveni’s supporters were not apprehended despite violating the laid down protocols on social distancing during the campaign trail.