Accused Nigeria comic to get last laugh on drug cops

Thu Nov 3, 2011 2:00pm EDT
 
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LAGOS (Reuters) - A Nigerian comedian arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs in his stomach will be released on bail on Friday after drug enforcement agents failed to find anything inside him following an exhaustive search of his excretions, his lawyer told Reuters.

A renowned joker in his Nollywood performances, Babatunde Omidina has become the butt of jokes himself. The Nigerian media has found it hard to suppress the sniggers while covering his every visit to the lavatory -- none of which yielded any drugs.

Omidina, 53, popularly known as "Baba Suwe," was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency while trying to board a Paris-bound flight from Lagos airport on October 12. An airport scanner allegedly showed bags of white powder in his stomach.

Three weeks and some 18 bowel movements later, agents have found no cocaine -- only a kind of local porridge.

"We ... return to court on Friday ... We have perfected the bail bond and if nothing incriminating is found on him, he will be going home a free man," the comic's lawyer Bamidele Aturu told Reuters by telephone.

Like many countries in West Africa, Nigeria is a major transit point for Latin American cocaine going into Europe.

(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Tim Cocks)