A panel of Court of Appeal judges in Lagos today set aside the N25 million compensatory damages earlier awarded Lagos comedian, Babatunde Omidina ” Baba Suwe ” over a prolonged detention by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) last year.
In the ruling, the Court of Appeal re-affirmed the right of the NDLEA to investigate, arrest, detain and prosecute drug suspects as long as the agency acts within the law.
The court said the NDLEA had not violated Mr. Omidina’s rights because it sought and got court orders from the federal high court to keep him in custody after the arrested him on the suspicion that he had ingested hard drugs.
The Court of Appeal came down heavily on the Lagos High court judge that awarded the damages against the NDLEA, describing the decision as oppressive and burdensome to an agency of government carrying out its statutory duties.
Baba Suwe’s attorneys led by civil rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, has vowed to take the matter before the Supreme Court.