NDLEA PLACES 9 NOLLYWOOD STARS ON WATCH-LIST
It is no longer news that celebrated comic act, Babatunde Omidina popularly known as Baba Suwe was arrested on Wednesday while allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country. What is, however, of interest to many now is that cocaine is yet to be found in his system.
The actor, whose career spans over two decades was arrested on his way to France where he was supposedly going to act as the master of ceremonies at the naming ceremony of an Air France staff. Following his arrest, the agency disclosed it had placed nine other Nollywood stars on the watch-list. The nine stars, according to sources, cut across both English and Yoruba film genres, and are said to have either carried drugs in the past, associated with drug barons or are drug users.
The agency disclosed it had been compiling the list since the arrest of Yetunde Wunmi, another Nollywood actress, who was arrested for drugs in 2006. The nine stars on watch-list are said to be very big with large fan base.
Baba Suwe, who had been trailed by rumours of drug peddling for years, was arrested after scanners at the airport detected a substance suspected to be drugs in his stomach. He was subsequently arrested and detained by the NDLEA for 'investigation and observation'. Since Wednesday night till the time of filing this report, no drug had been found either on him, his house or in his excreta.
Meanwhile, a source told Sunday Sun that the NDLEA sent a search team to Baba Suwe's house in Ikorodu to seek evidence that could strengthen its case. The search team left without disclosing whether they found anything concrete to nail the comedian. The search, which was done discreetly, lasted several hours and was carried out on Thursday to avoid tampering with evidence.
Baba Suwe's arrest brings to three the number of Nollywood stars arrested within five years for drug offences. Wunmi, whose real name is Hassanat Akinwande Taiwo, was arrested in 2006 while on her way to London. She excreted 92 wraps of cocaine, while another Nollywood star, Prince James Uche, was arrested in March 2007 and excreted 1.336kg of drug.
According to the NDLEA, Baba Suwe has excreted twice, but no drug has yet to be found . He excreted on Friday evening and Saturday without passing out any substance. The actor, whose failing health is well-known, was taken to hospial on Friday night for a comprehensive medical check-up to avoid complication and ascertain his true state.