After almost three days in custody, Ugandan authorities drop the charges against Nigerian singers, Temilade Openiyi, populalrly known as Tems and Stanley Omah Didia, popularly known as Omah Lay.
A release order announced that all charges against both artistes had been withdrawn and they should be released “unless held on other charges”.
The up and coming singers were arrested on Monday after performing at a show which flouted COVID-19 guidelines. After this, they were arraigned at a court in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.
The Ugandan Police Force tweeted that they will remain in custody until Wednesday, December 16 2020.
This development was met with outrage, especially on social media, especially by Nigerians, who demanded their immediate release. It quickly became a subject of debate as to whether it was right for the duo to hold a concert which flouted the country’s COVID-19 guidelines – quickly sparking the hashtags #FreeTems, #FreeOmahLay.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, said the Nigerian government was engaging with the Ugandan Authorities at the highest level to ensure their release. Soon after, their release was announced.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri- Erewa, had also, earlier in the day, assured Nigerians that all hands were on deck to secure their release after she met with two members of both artistes’ record labels.
“I received Marshall and Valentine, working with @Omah_Lay and Tem’s record label. The good news is that they will soon be back,” she tweeted.
Dabiri-Erewa explained that the duo was currently taking shelter at Nigeria House in Uganda, adding that tremendous diplomatic progress has been made.
“Tremendous diplomatic progress has been made and they will be back soon by God’s grace. Temilade (Tems) has been freed and handed over to the Nigerian mission in Uganda. Onah lay @Omah_Lay,” she said.
“Finally, finally. The journey home will soon begin but they are safely at Nigeria house in Uganda,” Dabiri Erewa added.
See the Press Release below