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#EndSARS advocate: Immigration seized my passport and stopped me from travelling

#EndSARS advocate: Immigration seized my passport and stopped me from travelling
November 03
12:35 2020

Modupe Odele, a member of the Feminist Coalition, says the Nigerian Immigration Service stopped her from travelling out of the country.

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The Feminist Coalition is the promoter of the #EndSARS protest and it raised about N147 million for the cause.

Odele, a lawyer who was actively involved in the campaign, offered legal aid to persons who were arrested during the demonstrations.

In a newsletter on Monday, Odele narrated how she was stopped at the airport while on her way to the Maldives to celebrate her birthday.

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She said the officer who accosted her said the action was ordered “from above”, and that she saw a “wanted poster” of herself on the officer’s computer.

The lawyer said she was detained and her passport seized.

“For my birthday, I had planned a trip to the Maldives. It was really for a break as the events of the last three weeks have exhausted my mind and body in a way I have never been exhausted in my life,” she said.

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“I went to the airport, passed through immigration, and while I was putting my bags through the body and baggage scanner, the immigration officer who had previously cleared me, called me back. He told me he had orders from above to detain me.

“Okay, at this point I’m like excuse me, my flight is in an hour. On what grounds are you detaining me?” He didn’t respond. Instead, he goes to his computer where he typed in my name and something that looked like a ‘wanted poster’ popped up on the portal.

“He blocked my view so I couldn’t see most of it but I saw some of it. And it read something like – ‘This person is under investigation by XYZ Intelligence Agency. If seen, they should be apprehended on sight.

“They held me for a little over an hour, seized my passport and I missed my flight. My passport is still seized up until this very moment and I have still not been made aware of what I am under investigation for.”

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In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Odele said she is safe and that she has been invited back with her lawyers.

“Hello everyone. Thank you so much. I’m fine and I’m safe. We haven’t confirmed yet why I was stopped on Sunday or by whom. But I’ve been invited back in with my lawyers today. I’ll update when I have more information but please don’t spread false news. That is dangerous,” she tweeted.

Efforts to reach spokespersons of the NIS and the Department of State Services (DSS) proved abortive as calls were not responded to, and a text sent to Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, was not replied to.

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