Nollywood Comic actor, Babatunde Omidina better known as Baba Suwe says he is heading to the Supreme Court to reclaim the 25 million Naira awarded him against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by Justice Yetunde Idowu of Lagos High Court over his unlawful incarceration for allegedly ingesting substance suspected to be hard drugs.
But Justice Rita Pemu of the Court of Appeal sitting at Igbosere, Lagos at the weekend said the trial Judge erred, describing the 25 million Naira awarded as excessive, unrealistic and perverse. But lawyer to Baba Suwe, Mr. Aturu Bamidele told Starconnectmedia that he is heading to the Supreme Court, adding that he is determined to ensure that the judgement does not stand.
He said he decided not to appeal in a hurry so as to allow members of the human rights community to comment on the issue, stressing that he is optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule otherwise.
For him, it means that anybody could be detained without trial for more than 24 hours if the judgement is allowed to stand. “We must not allow this judgement to stand”, he said, adding that the judges who have ruled otherwise must realise that they will one day step aside and become ordinary Nigerian.
This judgement came to many as a rude shock. So we decided to sample opinions of Nigerians on the latest ruling. First to speak is Bolaji Buhari who said he is not happy with the ruling of the Court of Appeal. For him, even a commoner should not be subjected to such ruling not to talk of a person of the calibre of Baba Suwe, whom he described as a notable figure.He said the constitution of the federal republic must be upheld at all time. For Gboyega Akinsanmi, it was a technical problem of lack of jurisdiction and called on counsel to Baba Suwe to go back and do proper filling of the case at the Federal High Court since NDLEA is a federal agency. Besides, he argued that the constitution says that nobody can be detained for more than 24 hours without trial adding that NDLEA only obtained injunction to detain the suspect after four days in detention.
For Idowu Ojo, Baba Suwe’s his name has been maligned.“And you say damages should not be paid, for me there is no justice in this case. For Ayodele Ozumgbaku NDLEA should pay the money for maligning Baba Suwe’s reputation. So it is illogical and irrational for the Court of Appeal to say that damages should not be paid. I advise his counsel, Aturu Bamidele to appeal to the Supreme Court, because the ruling is totally rubbish”, he said.