EndSARS: NIS Held Me For An Hour, Seized My Passport And I Missed My Flight- Odele Says

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A member of of the Feminist Coalition, Modupe Odele, has said the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, seized her passport and stopped her from travelling out of the country,

The Feminist Coalition is the promoter of the #EndSARS protest, which raised about N147 million for the cause. Odele, a lawyer was one of the active players in the campaign.

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

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

The lawyer, who disclosed that she was detained and had her passport seized, said: “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 went to his computer, 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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Reacting on the issue yesterday, the Federal Government denied putting names of #EndSARS protesters on a no-fly list.

A no-fly list is a register of people banned from boarding commercial aircraft for travel within, into, or out of a country

An online news outlet had reported that a no-fly list of “hundreds of Nigerians” the government suspects of energising the #EndSARS protest was being compiled and it was alleged that the Interior Minister, Alhaji Rauf was responsible for the list.

However, the Ministry of Interior in a tweet yesterday, refuted the claim, describing it as fake news.

“The Ministry of Interior did not, has not and will not generate any no-fly list. Ignore fake news please!” the ministry tweeted.

Meanwhile, Human right activist Barrister Monday Ubani reacted to the issue. He said: “It is a very shocking thing to do. That was somebody that participated in the End SARS protest. The proper thing is to explain why she was disallowed from traveling. You cannot just seize somebody’s passport. Apart from explaining that she is not on no-fly list, government needs to apologize to her in national newspapers and return her passport. I think the government has embarrassed itself over this.”

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