Ex-gov Odili defeats immigration service as court orders release of passports

According to NIS, Odili's passport was seized upon request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the grounds that the former governor was on its watch list.
Peter Odili
Peter Odili

A former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, has defeated the Nigerian Immigration Service in a rights enforcement case before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

Channels reports that Odili had dragged the NIS to court over the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 20 June 2021, upon his arrival into the country.

The court, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the NIS and its Comptroller-General to return Odili's international passport.

While sitting over the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the governor, Justice Ekwo declared the seizure of Odili’s passport as unconstitutional.

The NIS argued that Odili's passport was seized because he was on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

However, the judge decried the seizure of the former governor’s passport, noting that it was a punitive act and no citizen should be treated in such a manner, irrespective of status.

Subsequently, the court ordered the immigration service tender an apology to the former governor.

Justice Ekwo further restrained the NIS from harassing and intimidating him from leaving the country or moving freely within the country.

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