A High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to pay popular comedian Babatunde Omidina aka Baba Suwe the sum of N 25 million for denying him personal freedom. The riuling was given on Thursday by Justice Yetunde Idowu.
Omidina was picked up at the Murtala Mohammed Airport while on his way to France to compere a child dedication ceremony. He was thereafter detained for weeks by the NDLEA on the suspicion that he had ingested narcotics.
Bamidele Aturu, counsel to the comedian told the court that his client’s rights were violated by the NDLEA as he was kept in the agency’s custody for more than the 24 hours allowed by the constitution without charging him for any offence.
While delivering the ruling, Justice Idowu said “”the NDLEA’s action is a clear violation of his human rights. I hereby order that the sum of 25 million be paid to the applicant as damages and a public apology tendered in two widely read newspapers within 21 days of this judgment. Counsels to both applicants and the respondents should agree on the newspapers to use.
Theresa Asuquo, counsel to the NDLEA disclosed that the agency was not pleased with the judgment and that an appeal would be filed.
Aturu, counsel to the applicant however said he hopes the ruling will send a strong signal to other law enforcement agencies.