- A former Rivers governor, Peter Odili, on Monday, October 18, won a major victory at the Federal High Court in Abuja
- The court ruled against the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which seized Odili's international passport in June 2021
- By the court's order, the NIS is to immediately return the former governor's passport since it has no right to retain it
Abuja - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was on Monday, October 18, ordered to immediately release the international passport of Peter Odili.
NIS was given the order by the Federal High Court in Abuja which ruled in favour of the former Rivers governor, Vanguard reports.
Delivering the court's verdict on Monday, the presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, noted that the agency has no legal or constitutional backing to seize Odili's passport as ordered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), The Nation added.
Why we seized Peter Odili's passport
Earlier, it was reported that the EFCC ordered the seizure of Odili's international passport. This revelation was made by the immigration agency on Friday, October 8.
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NIS, through its lawyer, Jimoh Abdulkadir Adamu, presented a letter to the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday to prove that the order was given by the EFCC.
Adamu stated that the anti-graft agency gave the order because the former Rivers governor was on its watchlist over some violations of the law.
Moreover, the NIS' counsel urged the court to dismiss the case since the name on the seized passport did not correspond with that of Odili who filed the lawsuit.
Odili placed on EFCC watchlist, passport seized
Before this, Odili had been placed on the watchlist of the EFCC. The NIS revealed this on Wednesday, September 15, in response to a suit filed by the former governor in a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Legit.ng gathered that Odili was challenging the seizure of his international passport by the NIS.
When the matter was called on Wednesday, counsel to the NIS, Jimoh Adamu, informed the court that he had just filed a counter-affidavit to oppose the former governor’s suit.