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Court Orders Immediate Release Of ex-Gov. Odili’s Seized Passport

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to immediately release the travel passport of former Rivers State governor, Dr Peter Odili  seized by the service in July 2021.
Justice Inyang Ekwo who made the order in judgment held that the action of Immigration was unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires.
Justice Ekwo upheld the submission of Odili’s counsel, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe In the suit filed by Odili to challenge the seizure of the passport that the Immigration and its Comptroller General lacked the constitutional powers to seize the passport.
The reason given by the Service that Odili’s passport was impounded because he was on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was rejected by the court on the grounds that such use of power is not known to any law in  Nigeria.
Justice Ekwo thereafter granted order of perpetual injunction against Immigration restraining it and its agents from harassing, intimidating or infringing on the fundamental rights of Odili to freedom of movement inside or outside Nigeria.
The judge noted that the Federal High Court judgment of March 5, 2008 in which an order of perpetual injunction was granted against EFCC, prohibiting it from investigating the former governor on the activities of Rivers State government between 1999 and 2007 has not been set aside.
The Judge held that until the order is voided and set aside by a competent court of records, it remains binding on EFCC,  its operatives and agents.
Odili had dragged the Nigeria Immigration Service and its Comptroller General before the federal high court in Abuja, challenging the seizure of his password at the Nnamdi Azikwe International airport in Abuja for undisclosed reasons.

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