Nigerian singer, Omah Lay, has described his ordeal in Uganda as the toughest period of his life, saying he was treated like a common thief.
The 23-year-old singer and his colleague, 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.
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. They returned to Nigeria on Thursday while all the charges were dropped.
The music star narrated his ugly experience in the East African country in a series of tweets.
“The past few days have been some of the toughest of my life that I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. Out in a new country with some beautiful people, the next thing I’m being treated like a common thief,” he began.
Although a Ugandan Magistrate court charged him with “negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease’’, C/S 171 of the Penal Code Act, he clarified that it was not his intention to put his fans in harm’s way.
‘‘Before we came out to Uganda, the show promoters confirmed and proved to us they’d secured all the clearances, which of course, included Covid 19 compliance.”
“At that point, my sole obligation became to make myself available to be taken to the venue and entertain, which I did in the full glance and protection of the Ugandan police. Secondly, to my mom, my family, my team, my fans, friends that I caused sleepless nights waiting and praying for me, I apologize for putting you through all that,’’ his tweets partly read.
The police in Uganda have dropped charges against the Nigerian trio of Stanley Didia, aka Omah Lay; Temilade Openyi, alias Ms Tems; and Muyiwa Awomiyi. An 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.
Omah Lay and Ms Tems were jointly charged with four other Ugandans and remanded till Wednesday. Their detention 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.