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Court orders immediate release of Peter Odili’s passport

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to immediately release the international passport of the former governor of Rivers State Peter Odili.

 Odili had approached the court to challenge the seizure of his passport by the NIS. He told the court that his passport with number B50031305 was seized from him on June 20 by NIS officials for an undisclosed reason, shortly after he landed at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

 The federal agency however claimed it acted based on Mr Odili’s presence on an EFCC corruption watchlist.

 Ruling on the case, Justice Ekwo said the seizure was a punitive act and no citizen should be treated in such a manner, irrespective of status.

 He also ordered the service to tender an apology to the former governor, and restrained the NIS from harassing and intimidating him from leaving the country or moving freely within the country.

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