by Wilfred Okiche
As YNaija reported from the courthouse yesterday, popular actor Baba Suwe (Babatunde Omidina) was awarded the sum of N25million naira by a judge sitting at the Ikeja High Court as damages for his unlawful arrest and detention by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the suspicion of ingesting banned substances.
Justice Yetunde Idowu took no time at all as she launched into her 45minute ruling. She gave a summary of the case, invoking quite a bit of legal and medical terms that must have sounded like Greek to Baba Suwe’s supporters seated in the courtroom.
Finally her ruling: ’’The NDLEA’s action in this matter is a clear violation of his human rights. I hereby order that the sum of N25million be paid as damages to the applicant and a public apology tendered in two widely read newspapers within 2 days of this judgement.’’
“In Nigeria, our rights as citizens are inviolable and (the NDLEA) must do their duties within the confines of the law.
There was immediate jubilation and choruses of “as the court pleases’’. The man at the centre of the action was a picture of relief as he acknowledged greetings and handshakes from well wishers – just as YNaija cornered him for a word. ‘’I’m so happy,” he gushed. “I just want to say thank you to all Nigerians.’’
Bamidele Aturu, counsel for Baba Suwe, addressed the press: ‘’It is a very bold statement to all law enforcement agencies, that in Nigeria, our rights as citizens are inviolable and they must do their duties within the confines of the law,’’ he said, describing the judgement as a bold statement that will strengthen their environment and enjoining Nigerians to ‘’constantly challenge any infringement on their rights.’’
Counsel for the NDLEA Theresa Asuquo said her client was not satisfied with the ruling and would consider appealing the judgement. In response, Mr. Aturu said all lawyers are trained to appeal. “All we know is that this is the judgement of this court and unless set aside by a higher court, is binding on all the parties,” he said.
View the photos:
Even the cops love him
#Suwe’sDaddy and lead counsel
The winning team
Everybody loves a winner
“How we did it”
”Just want to say thank you to all Nigerians”
“You know I get 25% right?”
V for Victory.
Photos: Hyacinth Iyereosa