On Monday, November 22, Nigerians were thrown into mourning as Babatunde Omidina, the comic Yoruba actor popularly known as Baba Suwe, passed away
Born on August 22, 1958, in Lagos, the actor was a force to reckon with in the film industry for years, starring in several movies and winning many awards.
Before his eventual death, Baba Suwe had battled with an undisclosed illness.
The NDLEA ordeal
After years of limelight and goodwill, Baba Suwe’s troubles began in 2011 when he was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on his way to Paris, France.
He was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking after a body scanner at the airport identified suspected drugs in his stomach.
However, after more than three weeks in detention, and 25 bowel movements, the NDLEA admitted the late actor did not excrete any drugs, BBC reported. He was eventually granted bail after no drugs were found on him.
Though the NDLEA denied it, there were allegations that Baba Suwe was tortured while in detention. In an interview with The Punch in June 2021, the late actor said he was rendered crippled due to his experience in the hands of the NDLEA.
“I have not forgotten about my issue with the NDLEA and I will never forget because I am still bearing the pains and suffering from that encounter. I am still affected by the inflictions they meted on me at that time
Speaking after Baba Suwe’s death, Adebowale Omidina, the late actor’s son, also said his father never recovered from his ordeal with the drug agency, according to The Cable.
Similarly, Yomi Fabiyi, one of the Nollywood actors close to Baba Suwe, laid curses on those “who inflicted and supported the pains and torture” on Baba Suwe.
“Those fellow citizens who inflicted and supported the pains, torture done on you Baba Suwe because they have the tools of public service power are cursed and will never know peace,” Fabiyi said.
He added in a post on his verified Instagram page:
“Using torture or unlawful, excessive force for investigation is the purest evil and wickednes