Court: Nigeria drug agency must pay comedian $165k

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2011 7:19 AM
Court: Nigeria drug agency must pay comedian $165k

The lawyer of a popular Nigerian comedian who was held as a drug suspect for weeks says a court has ordered the drug agency to pay him $165,000.

Bamidele Aturu said Thursday that a Lagos court has ordered Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to pay the comedian known as Baba Suwe damages for "violating (his) personal liberty."

He said the court also told the agency to publish a public apology in two national newspapers.

Investigators held the actor, whose real name is Babatunde Omidina, for more than three weeks after his Oct. 12 arrest at Nigeria's busiest airport. They accused him of swallowing narcotics before boarding a flight to Paris, but found no drugs.

The popular 53-year-old comedian often plays a befuddled butler or security guard for comic relief in Nigeria's Nollywood movies.