Security

Why we collected the international passport of #EndSARS protester, Modupe Odele – Immigration Service

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The Nigeria Immigration Service says the passport of #EndSARS protester, Modupe Odele known as Mochievous on twitter, was seized as part of a routine border assignment.

Ms Odele, was stopped at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Sunday on her way to the Maldives through Dubai. She had provided legal assistance during the two weeks long protest.

The Spokesman for the NIS, Mr. Sunday James, told The PUNCH on Thursday night that whenever a restriction has been placed on any individual, the immigration service is duty-bound to enforce it.

James said immigration did not seize Odele’s passport because of her #EndSARS activities but because it was enforcing a restriction order.

He said, “When there is a directive from any agency of government not specific, we have to enforce either entry or restriction of entry by anybody who has been directed not to be allowed exit or entry and as a matter of fact, we cannot as a border management agency, allow anybody who has been restricted from leaving the country to go out and we cannot allow anybody who has been restricted from entry to enter.

“So, it is a routine assignment and it has nothing to do with End SARS. We are the lead agency for the security management of the border. It has to do with the restriction order which we are duty-bound to enforce.”

On Thursday, she wrote on twitter monitored by NewsWireNGR, “Today is the 5th day that my passport is still being held after it was seized at the Lagos international airport. If there’s no no-fly list, that’s okay but why has my passport not been released yet?

“Holding on to my passport without giving me any reason for it is a breach of my constitutional right. I’ve not been informed of any investigation against me, I’m not running. I am here. Investigate. Ask me questions but do not continue to hold on to my passport for no reason.

“November 1, I was stopped and my passport was taken some minutes before boarding this flight. No reason was given, other than ‘you are under investigation’ today is November 5, I still do not have my passport back neither have I been told what the investigation is about.”

“I still have not been briefed on the matter and I have no information on it,”

Odele, who is a lawyer, was one of the prominent faces in the #EndSARS movement and gave free legal assistance to several persons who were unjustly arrested by the police.

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