Legal Drama

Celebrity Crimes: Popular Singer Koffi Olomide Found Guilty of Assault & Battery


One of my very loyal AML readers brought this story to my attention. Thank you.

It is the recent news concerning one of Africa’s most popular singer, Koffi Olomide, who, in the past, has been accused of raping three of his dancers in Europe, among others sexual assaults. This time, Olomide has been found guilty and convicted of assault and battery against his producer. The story says his three month prison sentence is suspended. I presume it must be based on some negotiated deal where he meets certain requirements by the court, otherwise, they would whisk him right off to prison to serve out his sentencing.

I have talked about assault and battery charges  specific to both USA and Nigerian criminal laws, numerous times on AML. You may revisit one of many discussions here. In the meantime, can we all agree whether in Africa or in the USA, Europe etc. it is a great idea to keep your hands to yourself? If you can’t, make sure you have the phone number to a pretty good criminal defense lawyer because you are going to need it, especially if you are deemed a “celebrity.”

“Koffi Olomide, one of Africa’s most popular singers, has been given a three-month suspended prison sentence for assaulting his producer.

The rumba star, 56, was arrested after a fracas on Wednesday at a hotel in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Correspondents say the courtroom was packed to see the star, who leads the Quartier Latin band.

Olomide this year denied charges of raping three of his dancers in France.

The altercation with his producer, Diego Lubaki, was over a debt of 3,000 euros ($3,680, £2,345), the court heard.

‘Door damaged’

Mr Lubaki said he wanted to drop the charges, but the judge continued the trial.

“He wanted to withdraw charges in favour of social peace and peace between him and the one he calls his ‘big brother’,” one of his lawyers is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

The court convicted Olomide of assault and battery but acquitted him of malicious destruction to property, after the hotel room door was damaged in the fight.

The music he plays is known as “soukous”, which comes from the French word secouer, meaning to shake, and its dancers are renowned for their erotic moves.

Like other Congolese musicians, he is known for his extravagant lifestyle and flashy outfits. . .”

BBC has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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