By Bisi Adenuga
The National Drug and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has asked a Lagos High Court judge, Justice Yetunde Idowu for a stay of execution of the judgement which asked the agency to pay N25 million compensation to the ace comedian Mr. Babatunde Omidina, also known as Baba Suwe.
Omidina was arrested by the NDLEA for allegedly ingesting a banned substance in October last year.
Justice Yetunde Idowu had in her judgement delivered on November 24,2011, ordered the agency to pay N25m to Omidina and tender a public apology to be published on “conspicuous pages of two national daily newspapers within 21 days” of delivering the judgment.
She had also ordered that the counsels to the two parties must agree on the two newspapers to be used for the publication and terms of the apology.
NDLEA Director of Prosecution and Legal services, Mr. Femi Oloruntoba while moving an application before the court said that the agency has an appeal pending in the court over the judgement of the lower court.
The other grounds on which the agency based its application include the fact that NDLEA has shown “impecuniosities or lack of fund” which will deprive her from prosecuting the appeal and carry out her statutory duties if the judgement amount is paid and that Baba Suwe will not be able to refund the judgment sum of N25 million if NDLEA succeeds on appeal.
According to Oloruntoba, the agency does not get N7 billion as claimed by the appellant but N52 million monthly which is the total sum for all its activities including investigations and litigations as well as running cost, adding that out of the N7 billion that they get annually, N633 million goes into workers salary.
Oloruntoba argued that the judgment sum of N25 million awarded to Omidina amounted to half of its monthly available resource.