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Why We Seized Ex-Gov Peter Odili’s Passport– Immigration Tells Court

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja insisted that the international passport of a former Rivers State Governor, Sir Peter Odili, was seized by its operatives on the order of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The agency begged the high court to dismiss a suit instituted by the former governor to compel the release of the passport to him.

Counsel to the Immigration, Mr Jimoh Abdulkadir Adamu, while defending the action of his clients tendered a letter by EFCC instructing Immigration to seize the passport because Odili was on the watchlist for some infractions.

Adamu also asked the court to reject the case because the name on the seized international passport did not correspond with the name of Peter Odili that instituted the court case.

Odili’s passport was on June 20, 2021, seized from him by operatives of the Immigration Service upon his arrival from a trip to the United Kingdom and has since been withheld.

Justice Inyang Ekwo has however fixed October 18 for judgment in Odili’s suit challenging the seizure of his international passport by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

Ekwo fixed the date after taking arguments from Chief Ifedayo Adedipe SAN who stood for the former governor and Mr Jimoh Adamu who represented the NIS and its comptroller-general.

Adedipe, while adopting his processes, prayed the court to order the respondents to return the international passport of his client on the grounds that it was unlawfully seized from him.

The senior lawyer submitted that the right of Odili to his property was violated by the immigration because there was no order of court before the passport seizure was effected.

He prayed the court to discountenance the claim of the respondents that Odili was on the watch list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission adding that up till now, his client had not been interrogated or criminal charge instituted against him for any offence.

“The applicant is a senior citizen of Nigeria and is 73 years old, a former deputy governor, a two-time Governor of Rivers and an accomplished medical doctor as well as a holder of national honors,” he said.

“EFCC is not a body that can instruct immigration to seize passport in place of a court order.”

Adedipe also asked the court to reject a letter from the EFCC exhibited by immigration to justify the seizure of the passport adding that the purported letter can not take the place of an order of a law court.

Odili had dragged the Nigeria Immigration Service and its Comptroller General before the federal high court in Abuja challenging the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja for undisclosed reasons.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit, he had claimed that the international passport with numbers B50031305 was seized from him on June 20, 2021, by operatives of the Immigration Service and has since been withheld.

In an eight-paragraph affidavit he personally deposed to, the former governor claimed that the passport was seized from him upon his return to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where he had gone for his medicals.

Odili averred that on his arrival, his traveling documents were checked and given back to him and that while waiting for his luggage, an official of Immigration demanded the passport on a claim of routine check which he complied with but that the document has since been withheld.

He claimed to be a senior citizen of Nigeria, law-abiding, and had not done anything to warrant the seizure of the passport from him.

Odili prayed the court to compel the two respondents to release the passport to him and order of perpetual injunction against the respondents from further harassing, embarrassing, intimidating or interfering with his fundamental right to freedom of movement.

The former governor also demanded a written apology for the embarrassment caused him by the Immigration.

However in a counter-affidavit by the Immigration Service, It was revealed that Odili’s passport was seized because he is on the watch list of the EFCC.

The affidavit deposed to by one Okwe Ernest of the Legal Department of the Immigration Service averred that Odili was watchlisted at the request of the EFCC.

The Immigration Service claimed that the former governor was not entitled to the request presented before the court and that his suit should be dismissed for being premature.

Deponent asserted that the action of immigration was a result of collaborations of all the Federal Government security agencies and that the respondents were only carrying out their statutory functions.

The affidavit said that since the passport was seized, Odili has never for once demanded its release or cared to know why it was seized.

Justice Ekwo announced that he would deliver judgment in the matter on October 18.

 

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See The Full List Of Amended Charges FG Brought Against Nnamdi Kanu

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Ahead of Thursday’s court session, the full list of the amended charges filed against Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government of Nigeria has been obtained.

Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is scheduled to appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has on behalf of the federal government, filed a seven-count amended charge against the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The charges border on treasonable felony and acts of terrorism.

Below are the charges.

Count One

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male adult of Afaraukwu lbeku Umahia North Local Government Area of Abia State being the leader of the Indigenous People of Bialra (IPOB) on diverse dates in 2014 and 2015 in London, United Kingdom, did broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu and other areas within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, preparations made by you and others now at large for states in the South-East and South-South zones and other communities in Kogi and Benue States to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a view to constituting same into the Republic of Biafra and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 41(c) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP. C77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Count Two

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult, of Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area ot Abia State, on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom did broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu State and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Count Three

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male adult of Afaraukwu lbeku Umahia North Local Government Area of Abia State between the month of March and April 2015 imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulusiuzor in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra state within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court , a Radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L concealed in a container of used household which you declared as used household items and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 47 (2) of the Criminal Code of Act ,Cap C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Count Four
That you Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult. of Afaraukwu iIbeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State in London, United Kingdom between 2018 and 2021 Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu State and FCT, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, professed to be a member of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed organisation in Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

Count Five

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult, of Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State on the 22th of April, 2021 in London, United Kingdom on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu State and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did an act of terrorism in that you incite the other members (followers) of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB}, a proscribed organisation in Nigeria, to look for security personnel, their family members through a Radio Biafra on 102.1FM monitored through the IPOB Community Radio and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1 (2) (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act.

Count Six

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult, of Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia Stale on the 16thh of May, 2021, in London, United Kingdom within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act in furtherance of an act of terrorism by making a broadcast that “In 2 weeks’ time, what will happen will shake the world, people will die, the whole world will stand still, mark my word” and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1 (2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

Count Seven

That you Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult, of Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State on the 31st of May, 2021, in London, United Kingdom within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did an act in furtherance of an act of terrorism by issuing a deadly threat that anyone who flouted your sit-at-home order should “write his/her will,” as a result banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations were not opened for businesses and vehicular movements grounded and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1 (2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

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Gov Makinde Gets Oyo Assembly’s Approval For Fresh N18.7bn Loan

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Members of the Oyo State House of Assembly have approved the request of Governor Seyi Makinde of the state to access the N18.7 billion Federal Government Bridge Facility loan.

The state lawmakers gave the approval during an emergency sitting held on Monday in Ibadan, the state capital.

Our correspondent learnt that the loan was meant to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic.

DAILY POST recalls that this is not the first time the lawmakers will approve the governor’s request to access loan facilities.

Our correspondent learnt that the state House of Assembly, which was inaugurated in June 2019, has approved about N100 billion in loan for the governor.

DAILY POST gathered that one of such loans was the one recently approved in August this year.

Recall that the lawmakers had in August this year approved a loan of N6 billion for the governor.

Also, the House of Assembly had in October 2019 approved N7 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan for the governor.

It was gathered that the N7 billion loan was approved by the lawmakers four months after the 9th Assembly was inaugurated.

The state lawmakers had however on Monday approved another N18 billion loan facility for the governor.

DAILY POST reports that the request to approve the fresh loan was contained in a letter forwarded to the state lawmakers by Makinde.

Speaker of the Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin read the letter before his colleagues on Monday.

Ogundoyin assured that the House, through its Committee on Public Account and Appropriation, will perform its oversight function by monitoring the accessing and the spending of the loan.

The lawmakers after their deliberations then approved the fresh loan for the governor.

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How Gunmen Killed Estate Agent During Church Service At RCCG

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Bayo Sina Babarinde, an estate agent was shot dead by gunmen during Sunday service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Living Word Parish, Basin Road, in iIlorin, the Kwara state capital.

It was gathered that Babarinde stepped out of the church to receive a phone call when his assailants rained bullets on him.

The incident happened during the 7am service of the parish on Sunday, October 17.

Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Okasanmi Ajayi, who confirmed the incident to Daily Trust on Monday night, said investigation was ongoing to arrest the perpetrators.

“He was called on phone during the service as he walked out of the church to receive the call. The sound of gun shots rent the air, which drew the attention of the congregation,” Okasanmi said.

“As at the time the congregation got out of the church to see what was happening, it was discovered that the estate agent was already in the pool of his blood. It was discovered that he was shot in the head. The shells of the bullet used in killing the deceased have been recovered and the corpse has been deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) for postmortem

“People should not entertain any fear as the police and other security agencies are working towards unraveling the situation surrounding the incident towards arresting the perpetrators and ensuring that the security of lives and property of our people are well protected.”

The PPRO said that men of the Nigeria Police have already been deployed to strategic places in the metropolis, including worship centres, to prevent such reoccurrence assuring residents to go about their lawful businesses.

He also said that men of the Nigeria Police have already been deployed in strategic places in the metropolis, to prevent such reoccurrence.

Meanwhile, a tribute to the deceased written by Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade, said that the killers were said to have called him out of the church. Read below:

GOOD NIGHT MY BROTHER

Bayo Babarinde, yours was a very fulfilled life despite the numerous challenges. Although, I didn’t know much of your early life, reflecting on our first meeting at Yewa High School Ajilete, Ogun State in 1987, it will be safe to say that all odds was against you like many of our contemporaries

You were always full of life, you offered friendship with an open mind, you spoke your thoughts as you saw it. Out of sheer grace, a few of us made it out and you went on to study at the University of Benin while I went to the Lagos State University

Our path crossed again in 2007 while I was putting a team together for my company and in your selfless nature, you offered to relocate to Ilorin with your family with the view to stabilize our operations in Kwara State.

For the last 34 years, you held up your end of the rope until the cold hands of death forced you to drop it on Sunday 17th October, 2021. Most painful for me is the fact that you departed this world on the same date that I lost my mother 24 years ago

My dear brother, I take solace in the fact you grew closer to your creator to the very end and it is also symbolic that your killers were said to have called you out of the church. I still can’t process the shock and pain your young family will be going through now, to think that you all left home that faithful Sunday morning to worship God and they returned without you.

Regardless of the motive or justification if any, no one deserves to die the way you did. I will miss you my dear brother and friend, Adieu, Bayo Babarinde.

Rest In Peace!

Signed:

Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade

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