5 Nigerian celebrities who have been arrested at least once

Celebrities are often put on a pedestal and seen as untouchable icons, but they are just as human as the rest of us. They can make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can lead to legal trouble.

In this article, we take a closer look at five Nigerian celebrities who have faced legal trouble and been arrested at least once. Despite their fame, they have all had to answer for their actions. Let’s delve into their stories and learn about the events that led them to end up behind bars.

Here is a list of five celebrities and why they were arrested:


Tems found herself in hot water in December 2020 when she was arrested in Kampala, Uganda.

The reason for the arrest was reportedly due to flouting Covid-19 guidelines. Tems had performed at a show in Uganda that had been condemned due to the Covid-19 rules that were in place at the time.

The Ugandan police force described the suspects as selfish individuals who were “bent on violating the directives on COVID-19 with the purpose of making money while risking the lives of many Ugandans.”

The show was held during a time when political rallies of more than 200 people and churches in Uganda were restricted to 100 people. Many Ugandan artists and citizens condemned the widely promoted concert, which had more than 1,000 people in attendance.

As a result, Tems and her manager spent two days in police custody before being released and returning to Nigeria on December 17, 2020.

In response to the situation, Tems released a statement expressing her sadness that attendees could have possibly been exposed to Covid-19. She also stated that she would never have participated if she had known that the event would not meet standard operating procedures and put Uganda’s citizens at risk.

She thanked the Nigerian and Ugandan governments and everyone behind the scenes who played a part in resolving the matter. She also expressed her appreciation for her “rebel gang” of fans who continue to show her love and support.

Omah Lay, like Tems, was also caught up in the Uganda arrest. It was supposed to be a night of music and fun for fans of Nigerian artists Omah Lay and Tems, who had travelled to Uganda for a concert in December 2020.

However, the event quickly turned into a nightmare as both artists were arrested by Ugandan authorities for allegedly violating Covid-19 guidelines.

Omah Lay took to social media to express his frustration with the situation, stating that he was “treated like a common thief” and that the past few days had been some of the toughest of his life.

He also thanked his fans for their support and clarified that he had been under the impression that all necessary clearances had been secured for the concert.

The Nigerian government played a role in securing the release of both Omah Lay and Tems, who spent two days in police custody before being released and returning to Nigeria.

The incident has raised questions about the responsibilities of both artists and concert promoters when it comes to ensuring compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Portable was arrested by operatives of the Ogun Police Command on Friday, March 31, 2023, after ignoring an ultimatum given to him to turn himself in.

The artist was captured in a viral video spewing profanities at police officers who came to his bar in the Sanga Ota area of Ogun State to arrest him. He refused to comply with the officers, claiming that he was a baboon and could not be arrested.

The Ogun Police Command arraigned Portable on five charges, including assault, unruly behaviour, and theft of musical equipment. He was accused of stealing musical gadgets such as the Yamaha H55 Studio Monitor, Complete Studio 2 Interface Connection Cable, and AKG P420 Condenser, among others.

However, the magistrate sitting in Ifo town, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State was granted bail on Monday, April 3, 2023, after he was remanded at the Ilaro Correctional Centre to perfect his bail requirements.

Portable was allegedly reported to the police by his apprentice. The artist said he disciplined the ex-worker after he refused to change his ways and sacked him.

Portable added that the ex-worker went to the police station and filed a case of assault against him for merely correcting him. He justified his actions by saying he is a boss to the apprentice, and he beat him as a form of discipline.

Nigerian singer Naira Marley, whose real name is Azeez Adeshina Fashola, was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with four others for alleged money laundering.

The arrest came a day after the release of his song “Am I a Yahoo boy” online. Marley had brought attention to himself when he declared on Instagram that internet fraud was not a crime, but a punishment for the whites as a result of their ill-treatment of Africans in the past.

Despite criticism of his stance, the singer refused to change his beliefs and even attacked those who held contrary opinions. Shortly after his statement, he collaborated with Zlatan on a song titled “Am I A Yahoo Boy,” which further fueled the controversy.

On May 10, 2019, the EFCC arrested Naira Marley, and others in connection with an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.

While the others were released after five days, Naira Marley remained in custody due to incriminating items found on his laptop. He was charged with 11 counts and spent days in Ikoyi Prison before being granted bail of ₦‎2 million with two sureties of the same amount.

Zlatan Ibile was also arrested alongside Naira Marley and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2019. The arrest was in connection to an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.

He had collaborated with Naira Marley on the controversial song, “Am I A Yahoo Boy”, which was one of the reasons for the arrest.

After spending five days in custody, Zlatan and the other three individuals who were arrested with him were released. However, Naira Marley remained in custody as a result of incriminating items found on his laptop.

Following his release, Zlatan dropped a new single titled “4 Nights In Ekohtiebo”, which talked about his ordeal during his time in prison. In the song, he shared his experiences of being in custody and his fears of being locked up for a long time.

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