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Fela How musician deceived the police that he didn't have weed on him

In a fascinating tale Fela revealed how he outsmarted the Nigerian police.

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Fela was un-repentantly outspoken against the Nigerian corrupt government play

Fela with his music was un-repentantly outspoken against the Nigerian corrupt government


In 1975, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti released an album titled 'Expensive Sh*t'.

The colourful title of his full-length album was inspired by a true-life saga. According to Fela, the Nigerian police planted a marijuana on him thereby implicating him. This led to his arrest and a funny tale of events only Fela can tell.

After the police had raided his home than in Surulere and found weed, they locked him up. Fela stayed the weekend in jail and Monday also. On Tuesday, he was taken to court and got his bail afterwards. He had spent eight days in jail but the police were not done with him.

The cover of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's 'Expensive Sh*t' album play

The cover of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's 'Expensive Sh*t' album

(Band Camp)


The police had seized his passport which stopped him from going on a tour in Cameroon. On Wednesday, he went looking for his passport along with his lawyer. He was told to come the next day for it. Fela accepted to come for his passport on Thursday so he went home.

According to him, he went back home, got high and slept. At 4 a.m in the morning, the police struck again. "And there they were to raid me again...I had a spyglass on my door, but I didn't even bother to use it. I just opened the door and...Baaaaaam!" said Fela in the book 'This B*tch Called Life'.

Five detectives entered Fela's house and demanded to search his house. "I had smoked some joints earlier. What was left was in the ashtray in a small table near my bed. They had just finished raiding me, man, so I wasn't ready to have them catch me again.

Fela's painting play

Fela's painting

(Kome elayae)


Fela lied to the detectives that he had a woman with him and they should give him some time so that she can get dressed. He quickly closed the door ran to where the ashtray was and poured the remaining weed in his mouth. He opened the door, acted as if he was sick in front of the cops, ran to his toilet and vomited in his sink.

The police did not know he had just got ridden of evidence. They later searched every bit of his house and according to Fela, they did not see a speck of marijuana.

Sankara and Baba Fela play

Sankara and Baba Fela



Frustrated they didn't catch him red-handed, Fela claimed they dropped a joint they brought and presented it as if it was his. Fela was two steps ahead of them and tricked the police into showing him the roll of weed. When they did, he quickly swallowed it much to the frustration of the police.

The detectives weren't going to let him go off so easily. They took a grain of weed that was left in the paper and arrested him. They tried to examine his body but Fela bluntly refused and caused a scene.

He was later taken to court and the police told the judge that Fela had swallowed the marijuana and it was still inside him. The judge agreed with the police to collect stool samples from Fela for examination.

This is the funny part of the story. The police locked Fela and waited for him to take a dump. Fela's mum, Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti heard him about her son's predicament and sent him vegetables for him to eat.

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti play

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

(Instagram/Femi Kuti)


"I was just eating vegetables. You know, to quench the vegetables inside there. I refused to shit. The first day I didn't shit-o. Then, in the middle of the night, prisoners woke me up."

The prisoners told Fela to take a dump while the officers were asleep. Fela did his business in the pail used by all the prisoners. In the morning, the police officer threw away the contents of the mobile toilet without knowing Fela's faeces was part of the mix.

The second day, the same routine happened. Fela got vegetables from his mum. The police officers waited and waited for Fela to excrete but he did not. When it was night time, the prisoners aided him.

On the third day, in the morning, just before going to court, Fela told the officers he was ready. They were happy that they had caught Fela, and took him to the backyard to do his business.

Fela was a fascinating music personality play

Fela was a fascinating music personality



"When I look at my shit it was clean like a baby's shit. Clean!" recalls Fela. The faeces got tested and no trace of marijuana was found.

When he was released Fela waxed the record 'Expensive Sh*t' which was also the title of his album.

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