Baba Suwe Loses N25m Compensation at Appeal Court
After all the court case wahala between Baba Suwe and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), a court of appeal in Lagos has ordered the agency not to pay Baba Suwe the N25m compensation fee.
The court of appeal made this judgement yesterday May 31, 2013 ruling out the earlier judgement coming from an Ikeja High Court saying that Baba Suwe was detained more than the required time after the agency accused him of allegedly swallowing ‘large amounts of drugs’ in his body.
The appellate court in its judgment delivered by Justice Rita Pemu described the N25 million compensation as baseless and pervasive and held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to preside over the fundamental human rights suit filed by Baba Suwe’s lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, in October 24, 2011.
Justice Pemu said it was only the Federal High Court that has the right to adjudicate on the matter more especially when it is a drug-related matter, adding that the NDLEA has the prerogative to keep the respondent in custody, while investigation was being carried out.
According to the judge, the NDLEA had good reasons to detain the comedian, adding that the N25 million compensation was uncalled for.
"The constitution stipulates the right to personal liberty. The result of the scan carried out on the respondent were in consonance with the appellant's suspicion.
"The appellant took note of the respondent's rights and that was why it applied for an extension of time to keep the respondent in custody which the Federal High Court presided over by retired Justice Okeke rightly granted.
The detention of the respondent is therefore not unreasonable," Justice Pemu held.
Justice Yetunde Idowu of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos in her judgment delivered on November 24, 2011, had ordered the agency to pay Baba Suwe N25 million for detention on suspicion of drug ingestion, as well as mandated the NDLEA to tender public apology to the actor through two national newspapers.
Baba Suwe was arrested by the NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on October 12, 2011, on his way to Paris, France and was detained by the agency initially for three days during which period he defecated but no drug was found in his faeces.
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