On 24 April, Fela is freed from jail. His release follows a press statement by Justice Gregory Okoro-Idogu, the judge at the 1984 trial, stating he had been pressured by the regime into giving Fela a disproportionately long sentence. The judge visits Fela in prison to apologise. Once released, Fela holds a press conference at the Shrine, announcing that he will revive his Movement of the People (MOP) party and run for the presidency. He and Egypt 80 play a comeback concert at the National Stadium in Lagos and then leave on a US tour.
After 20 months in prison on trumped up charges, Fela is free at last! And in defiant, uncompromising mood as he is welcomed home by the fans and by his manager, Rikki Stein. Photo by Godwin Usidamen.
Fela speaking at the Amnesty International concert in New Jersey on the 16th June, 1986.
Fela releases two very different but equally distinguished albums. I Go Shout Plenty uses classic, gritty, in your face Afrobeat arrangements. The Wally Badarou-produced Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense is a one-off which uses lush, almost orchestral, multi-layered horns and keyboards arrangements.
Fela with Grace Jones, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring, photo by Andy Warhol. — from the book ‘Warhol on Basquiat. Andy Warhol's Words and Pictures’ edited by Michael Dayton Hermann and Reuel Golden (Taschen, 2019).