Modupe Odele, a promoter of the #EndSARS movement on police brutality and bad governance has been blocked from travelling out of Nigeria by the Nigeria Immigration Service.
In a newsletter sent out on Monday, the lawyer who confirmed the development said she was prevented from travelling out of Nigeria possibly because of her alleged role in the #EndSARS protests.
According to her, she was on her way to the Maldives to celebrate her birthday when she was accosted by immigration officers who seized her passport and later detained her.
She wrote, “For my birthday, I had planned a trip to the Maldives. It was really for a break as the events of the last three weeks have exhausted my mind and body in a way I have never been exhausted in my life.
“I went to the airport, passed through immigration, and while I was putting my bags through the body and baggage scanner, the immigration officer who had previously cleared me, called me back. He told me he had orders from above to detain me.
“Okay, at this point I’m like excuse me, my flight is in an hour. On what grounds are you detaining me?” He didn’t respond. Instead, he goes to his computer where he typed in my name and something that looked like a ‘wanted poster’ popped up on the portal.
“He blocked my view so I couldn’t see most of it but I saw some of it. And it read something like – ‘This person is under investigation by XYZ Intelligence Agency. If seen, they should be apprehended on sight.’”
The lawyer said that she had been able to identify the security agency that put her on the watch list, adding that she would be returning there on Tuesday.
Odele wrote, “Since the #EndSARS peaceful protests started in Nigeria about three weeks ago, I and some super courageous women have been providing support to Nigerians as they came out to peacefully exercise their constitutional rights.
The legal practitioner who through her Twitter handle, @Mochievous, mobilised her 219,000 followers during the protests added that; “I was specifically in charge of legal aid and so co-led www.endsarslegalaid.co where we succeeded in helping over 80 peaceful protesters who were arrested get released. It was back-breaking and emotionally tasking work but the joy that the family expressed when being reunited with loved ones made it all worth it.
“I’m not a full-time activist or human rights attorney. I am a corporate lawyer at the moment so dealing with police stations isn’t my area of expertise. I did what needed to be done in the face of gross injustice and had the support of over 800 wonderful volunteer lawyers,” she said.
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