BY OGBONNA AMADI, BENJAMIN NJOKU & ALBERT AKPOR
LAGOS — Nollywood actor and veteran comedian, Alhaji King Babatunde Ayinla Nurudeen Olasunkanmi Omidina, a.k.a. Baba Suwe was arrested Wednesday night, for possession of substances suspected to be cocaine by the officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Baba Suwe was picked up at the International wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, by the NDLEA officials, while boarding an Air France flight to Paris, France.
NDLEA sources revealed that Baba Suwe was on his way to Paris to act as a master of ceremony in a naming ceremony of an Air France staff scheduled for tomorrow.
Immediately he was arrested, NDLEA source disclosed that the Air France staff was also picked up.
The scanning machine at the airport detected suspected substance hidden in Baba Suwe’s stomach, but the suspect was alleged to have denied that such drug was on his person.
A second scanning proved that he was carrying the said suspected substance and this led to his immediate arrest. He would remain at the NDLEA office at the airport until he starts excreting the drugs.
A source in the anti-drug agency said the suspect has already excreted some of the drugs he ingested but a large quantity was still lodged in his system as at yesterday. The source said the suspect was therefore given some tea to drink which would enable him excrete the remaining drugs while he has been placed on what he described as observation.
Reacting to the sad news, the National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN), Mr Segun Arinze described the act as “an embarrassment to the Nigerian motion picture industry.”
“It is a sad development I must tell. If truly he is arrested in connection with drug, he has come to the end of his career. I feel highly disappointed in him”.
“We cannot destroy the image we have built over the years because of the material things of life. We will meet with the executives of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners(ANTP) and decide on what to do with him,”Arinze reacted from America.
Also, notable film director and producer, Lancelot Imasuen and president, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) Paul Obazele respectively condemned the act, describing it as “tarnishing and one that will not do the image of the industry any good.”
“We are disappointed, it’s annoying. I’m short of words, Baba Suwe is an icon and everybody looks up to him in the industry’, Paul Obazele said, while adding that “it is not good news at all.”
For Lancelot, “I’m not particularly happy because it will affect all of us who usually travel out of the country on regular basis.”
Popular director of the epic Yoruba film “Aramotu”, Niji Akanni, expressed shock saying; ‘It’s abominable.’ But Yoruba actress Foluke Daramola simply screamed, as she declined to comment on the matter.
Baba Suwe is a very successful and popular Yoruba actor, famous for his comedy roles in Yoruba movies. He is one of the icons in the film industry, having worked with virtually everybody in the industry. He is a recipient of the African Artists and Entertainers Afro-Hollywood award in New York.