In October 2011, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) got a worldwide coverage and attention with Baba Suwe’s alleged drug ingestion. On November 4, he was finally released from the NDLEA’s custody when the agency could not find any drug on him not after he had spent about 21 days with them.
Baba Suwe’s NDLEA brouhaha became blown up due to his status as a top Nollywood actor.
Seven months after the world stage drama, the Commander of NDLEA, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Mr. Hamza Umar has finally opened on the saga that almost put its agency’s credibility into the mud.
In an interview with Sunday Trust, Umar said, ”this machine you are seeing here is 99.9 percent accurate. It has never said this man has this and we find contrary. You said apart from, I know you are going into Baba-Suwe’s matter.”
Clarifying the Baba Suwe’s unique case, he said further, “let me clarify myself. You see, before his arrest, I do not know who Baba-Suwe is. My binding factor with Baba-Suwe is that machine.
“He was travelling with a group of friends and the machine picked him and said he had drugs concealed in him. When the matter was becoming controversial, I asked if there is a good screening centre here in Lagos.
“I was told of the University of Lagos teaching hospital and I asked that they should take him there. I did so to have an independent opinion from a professional. He was taken there and the Chief Radiologist said look, I have to get my Consultant. He and the Consultant examined, tested and screened him with their machines and gave me the report in writing.
“Our medical team collected the written report and brought to me. The hospital said in the report that Baba-Suwe had drugs concealed in his stomach. In the report, they said they analyzed him from the head, to the body and down to the legs and concluded that his stomach is invested with particles that are consistent with narcotics.
“But they said in the report that they cannot specify the drugs by name. They suggested that it could only be specified by laboratories. Mind you, I am not an expert in that field. I am only an officer of the NDLEA.
“If you were in my shoes will you release that man? I did not stop at that anyway, I insisted I wanted another report from another group of experts. I was told that there was another well-equipped place that they call Me-Cure here in Lagos. I said take him there also. I referred him there and they gave me the same result,”the NDLEA boss concluded.
The anti-drug agency has been ordered by the court to pay the sum of 25 million naira to Baba for violation of his rights. This order is being appealed at the Appeal Court.