An Ikeja High Court has ordered the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to pay a sum of N25M (Twenty five million Naira) to popular actor and comedian Babatunde Omidina better known to the public as Baba Suwe.
As reported earlier, Baba Suwe and his counsel had dragged the NDLEA to court, suing for N100M damages for the unlawful detention of the actor which led to public humiliation.
The order was given this morning Thursday, November 24, 2011 by presiding judge Justice Yetunde Idowu who cited that the detention of Baba Suwe by the NDLEA ‘was not justified’.
‘The actions of the NDLEA constitute a flagrant abuse and infringement of fundamental rights of the applicant’, Justice Idowu said.
She also added, ‘the compensation awarded should reflect the extent of which the applicant’s dignity was damaged’.
In addition to the sum of money ordered to be paid, Justice Idowu also ordered the law enforcement agency to publish a statement of apology in two widely read Nigerian newspapers. The choice of newspapers is to be agreed by both counsels.
It would be recall that the comedian was arrested by officers of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on his way to France on October 12, 2011 on the suspicions of ingesting substance suspected to be cocaine.After 24 days in NDLEA custody, fortune smiled on the actor as Justice Yetunde Idowu ordered Omidina’s release on bail, declaring that he should go home and reunite with his family since the NDLEA could not find any banned-drug-related substance in his excretions.
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