Modupe Odele, a Nigerian lawyer and an outspoken anti Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) activist was on her way out of the country for her birthday last week when she was stopped and arrested for no ligitimated reason.
Odele’s passport was seized at the airport by the Nigerian immigration officials when she was about to board her flight out of the country on the 1st of November.
Odele and a few of her colieges have been openly helping peaceful protesters with free legal defense when they arrest by the law enforcement officers.
During the incident Odle tweeted, “I was stopped and my passport taken, some minutes before boarding the flight. No reason was given, other than ‘you are under investigation.'” She added that, “Holding on to my passport without giving me any reason for it is a breach of my constitutional right. I’ve not been informed of any investigation against me, I’m not running. I am here. Investigate. Ask me questions but do not continue to hold on to my passport with no reasons.”
Five days later, Odele was still not provided with a ligitemate reason as to why she was beeing targeted.The spokesperson for the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) Sunday James, claimed that the seizing of Odele’s passport was not due to her ties to the #EndSARs movement, but due to a ‘restriction order’. James said, “When there is a directive from any agency of government not specific, we have to enforce either entry or restriction of entry by anybody who has been directed not to be allowed exit or entry and as a matter of fact, we cannot as a border management agency, allow anybody who has been restricted from leaving the country to go out and we cannot allow anybody who has been restricted from entry to enter. So, it is a routine assignment and it has nothing to do with #EndSARS. We are the lead agency for the security management of the border. It has to do with the restriction order which we are duty-bound to enforce.”
After the long waiting period, Odle was then instructed to collect her passport 4pm on Friday.