Embattled Congolese musician Koffi Olomide has been released from jail, his Kenyan-based lawyer Prof. George Luchiri Wajackoyah has confirmed.
Olomide was taken into custody in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, July 26th, days after he was deported from Kenya for allegedly assaulting one of his dancers, identified as Pamela, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi last Friday.
His Kinshasa-based lawyer, Landry Tanganyi, told the BBC that Olomide, one of Africa’s most popular musicians, should not be detained overnight as he was not a flight risk.
Olomide denied assault, though he apologised for his behaviour.
In a brief statement to eDaily on phone, Prof. Wajackoyah said: “I am aware of his (Koffi’s) release, but I am not in a position to give more details because my client has not authorized me to do so.”
“However, when he gives me the green light, I will hold a press conference to convey his message and in the same breathe, give comprehensive details of his case. The date and time of presser remains open – it can be today, tomorrow or even two days from now,” said Prof. Wajackoyah before hanging up.
A Kinshasa court judge reportedly did not find sufficient grounds to put Koffi behind bars over the JKIA incident, which was filmed and went viral. The legendary artiste spent the night in detention as investigation continued through Wednesday, the BBC reported.
Despite several media across Africa reporting that Koffi was sentenced to 18 months in jail, his Kenyan-based promoter Jules Nsana refutes the claims, saying the alleged violence case against Koffi was still under investigation, and that the investigators found no sufficient evidence to implicate the singer Thursday.
Mr Nsana said: “Koffi is a free man. He returned to his Kinshasa house after he was released 10am EAT Thursday.”
“The prosecutor found there was no sufficient evidence to prosecute Koffi, hence the case could not proceed further. An allegation against the singer is that he wanted to beat somebody (his dancer Pamela) – and not that he actually beat someone. Pamela already said she was not beaten, and she even denied publicly that she was assaulted,” said Mr Nsana.
“Olomide is out on a free bond,” he added. “The reports that circulated online that Koffi was jailed for 18 months were false. People in the world have a habit of riding on the temporary agenda set around someone to craft juicy headlines for their readers. I understand they are in business.”
Promoter Jules says Mr Olomide phoned him and urged him to apologise to Kenyans on the singer’s behalf.
“Koffi called immediately after he was released and asked me to apologise to Kenyans on his behalf. Just give him two to three days, he will talk by himself,” said Mr Nsana.
eDaily’s attempts to reach Koffi Olomide for comment bore no fruits as phone calls could not go through.