…DEMANDS APOLOGIES, RETRACTION OF DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION
A Lagos-based businessman, Mr. Aro Aderinde has threatened legal action against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for unlawfully breaking into his house, arresting and detaining him for 33 days.
The 48-year-old Aderinde who spoke to newsmen at a press briefing, in Abuja, at the weekend, called on the Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) to order the “retraction of his name from all media publications, in print, electronic and the social media after being freed and confirmed innocent of illicit drug charges” levelled against him in October 2022.
Aderinde who described the anti-narcotics officers’ action as unprofessional, defamatory, and injurious to his reputation, his business, and his family’s reputation requested the Chairman of NDLEA to also tender an unreserved apology to him.
Narrating how it all started, he said, at about 4 am, on October 16, 2022, about 30 armed NDLEA officers invaded my house in Ikorodu, broke and damaged three doors to gain entry. They arrested and detained me in their office for 33 days with regard to an offence I knew nothing about.
“They circulated the news to the print, electronic and social media, that I am a drug kingpin, with my picture carrying a placard and placing some packages beside me in the picture suggesting that those packages of illicit drugs were recovered from me. They did all these without a diligent investigation.
“This action of the NDLEA is defamatory and injurious to my reputation, my business and my family’s reputation.
“After my release, my lawyer wrote the NDLEA for retraction of all publications against me in print, electronic and social media, but the organization replied to my lawyer that it is not culpable, hence there is no need for retractions”, he said.
According to Aderinde, “I have already instructed my lawyer to take legal action against the NDLEA over my arrest, detention, and the defamatory publications.”
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi is quoted in some quarters of the media as saying, “Mr. Aderinde is wanted by the Agency because he failed to keep to the conditions of his administrative bail to report along with other suspects in the case.
“While others have been reporting, he failed to show up and already charges had been filed against him. He needs to submit himself to face his charges rather than seeking to appeal for sympathy”.
It is however, gathered that, on Sunday, October 16, 2022, anti-narcotics officers who have been on the trail of 48-year-old Aro Aderinde for weeks arrested him on Sunday, October 16, 2022, over his involvement in the export of 3,149 kilogrammes of cannabis Sativa concealed in coconut fibres via container number MSKU 1820587.