A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, October 18, ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to immediately release the international passport of the former governor of Rivers State Peter Odili.
Justice Inyang Ekwo who delivered the judgement declared the seizure by the service as illegal, unconstitutional, and an infringement of his fundamental rights.
He further ordered the service, to tender an apology to Odili; and likewise restrained the NIS from harassing and intimidating him from leaving the country or moving freely within the country.
Justice Ekwo also added that the seizure of the former governor’s passport, was a punitive act; and no citizen should be treated in such a manner, irrespective of status.
Odili had filed a suit against the immigration service; challenging the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; on 20 June 2021, upon his arrival into the country.
The service, however, told the court that it acted based on Mr Odili’s presence on an EFCC corruption watchlist.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Sunday, October 17, denied a report by the Wall Street Journal; that it paid N20m as ransom to bandits; in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun seized from the Nigerian Army.
1st News had reported that the Wall Street Journal said in a report on Sunday; that the NAF brokered the deal as President Muhammadu Buhari was planning a trip to Katsina, his home state.
The US media outlet said N20 million was delivered to the bandits in Rugu Forest; by a NAF officer, who leaked details of the operation; under anonymity because the military realised that it would be too risky to leave the weapon in the hands of violent criminals; operating in an area the presidential jet would fly over.
But the Nigerian Air Force denied making such payment to bandits in exchange for weapons.
In a statement on Sunday by the spokesperson, Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet, said there was no truth in the report.