An Ikeja High Court in Lagos this morning ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement agency (NDLEA) to pay the sum of N25 million to Baba Suwe as damages for unlawfully detaining him for three weeks over drug trafficking allegations.
And to also tender a public apology to him in two national dailies.
The embattled Yoruba actor/comedian, Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as Baba Suwe who has been under the custody of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for alleged drug trafficking was this morning released by the agency.
This follows the order of the Ikeja High Court that the comedian be released on bail on Friday, the 4th of November (today) if no drug was found on him.
Baba Suwe was released because he did not excrete any substance suspected to be hard drug which NDLEA alleged he injected into his stomach.
Again, he was taken to a hospital (name withheld) where other methods of excretion were applied but no drug was excreted.
It will be recalled that NDLEA has obtained an order to detained the Nollywood actor for more 15 days after he has spent 11 days in detention. The order was granted by Justice Okechukwu Okeke of Federal High Court, Lagos.
But Baba Suwe’s Counsel, Bamidele Aturu, in an ex-parte motion application had asked the Ikeja High Court to order NDLEA to immediately release his client from continuous detention and incarceration.
Justice Yetunde Idowu however granted the request of defense counsel, ordering NDLEA to release on bail at the termination of Federal High Court order.
Baba Suwe, is planning to file a N1 billion suit against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over his arrest and detention.
Baba Suwe was arrested by the NDLEA on October 12 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos and is still being detained.
The NDLEA had alleged that the 53-year-old actor had ingested substances suspected to be hard drugs, but there has been no evidence to substantiate the claim, even after the suspect has defecated thrice under close observation.
His lawyer, Mohammed Bashir, told the said a fundamental rights enforcement suit would be filed on his behalf within the next five days.
Bashir said: “We will be filing the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos between now and Monday.
“We will be asking for N1 billion as compensation for damages suffered by him due to his illegal arrest and detention, as well as the embarrassment and defamation done to his reputation as a result of the incident.”
The lawyer further told NAN that NDLEA officials had prevented him from meeting physically with Baba Suwe since his arrest a week ago.
“I have visited the place twice since he was detained but was turned back and prevented from seeing my client. This denial of access to my client is another violation of his fundamental human rights,” Bashir said.
Despite the fact that the ace actor had excreted three times without any trace of drug found, the NDLEA said Baba Suwe would still continue to remain under its observation until he makes the fourth excretion.
The continued detention of the actor has sparked off controversy at the airport vicinity with divergent positions being raised by several groups.
Nollywood comic actor, Baba Suwe, was yet to make any excretion today at the time of writing this report,an anti-narcotics officer said.
He has excreted 3 Times now and so far no drug has been found in the waste.
Observers say tonight may be a crucial night for the actor.
Ace Actor and comedian, Omidina Babatunde a.k.a Baba Suwe now in the custody of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, over alleged possession of cocaine was said to have made his first self excretion but no drug was found in it.
Disclosing this development was the Head of Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju who however said Suwe was still under close observation by the agency to know what actually went wrong.
Baba Suwe was nabbed aboard an Air France aircraft to Paris at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos at about 10pm on Wednesday when he allegedly tested positive to drug ingestion and had been placed under observation since then.
Earlier yesterday, the NDLEA had expressed concern that Suwe who was on his way to attend the naming ceremony of his close friend in Paris had not been able to excrete despite the fact that he was ‘’eating very well and co-operating with narcotic investigators.’’
There is reasonable ground for suspicion and the actor is currently under observation. He is fine and had been eating but has not excreted.
‘’We have invited our doctor to examine him. This is crucial to ascertain the true position.
Further up-date on the matter shall be made known to the general public. “.the Agency told the media shortly before he excreted.
NDLEA’s Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar also confirmed that Suwe was in safe custody even as it was learnt that he was to the act as a compere during the naming ceremony which he missed as a result of his arrest.
Nollywood comic actor, Alhaji King Babatunde Ayinla Nurudeen Olasunkanmi Omidina, popularly known as Baba Suwe, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, with substances suspected to be hard drugs concealed in his stomach.
Baba Suwe was apprehended last night at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, by NDLEA officials as he attempted to board an Air France flight to Paris, France.
According to NDLEA sources, he was on his way to Paris to act as a master of ceremony in a naming ceremony of an Air France staff scheduled for Saturday.
The Air France staff has also been arrested, according to NDLEA sources.
Baba Suwe went through the scanning machine at the airport and substances suspected to be drugs were seen hidden in his stomach, NDLEA sources said this morning.
He is now being detained at the NDLEA office at the airport.
Sources said he is under observation pending the time he will start excreting the drugs.
After he was arrested, sources said, he denied that he swallowed the drugs, until he went through the scanner.
He could not however explain the white substances seen in his stomach.
Baba Suwe is a very successful and popular Yoruba actor in Nollywood, famous for his comedy roles in Yoruba movies.
In January 2005, he received an award from the African Artists and Entertainers Afro-Hollywood Award in New York which is like the African Grammy.