Days after she was blocked by Nigerian immigration officials from leaving the country, Modupe Odele Thursday said her passport is still confiscated, raising fears of a clampdown on prominent #EndSARS activists by the Nigerian government.
The anti-police brutality activist helped arrange legal defence for demonstrators campaigning against police violence in the country as part of a group of volunteer lawyers, The Legal Aid Network.
The coalition secured the release of individuals arrested for protesting against alleged abuses by a police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Odele said that when she tried to board an international flight at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on November 1, immigration authorities told her that she was under investigation and thus barred from leaving Nigeria.
“1st of November, I was stopped and my passport taken some minutes to boarding this flight. No reason was given, other than ‘you are under investigation,’” Odele wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Today is 5th of November, I still do not have my passport back neither have I been told what the investigation is about.”
She continued: “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.”
Nigeria’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday denied reports that said it had compiled a “no-fly list”, saying that any such list was “not the responsibility of the ministry or its associated agencies.”
Peaceful demonstrations against police violence turned bloody on October 20, when the military opened fire on protesters, killing at least 12 people, according to rights group Amnesty International, an allegation the Nigeria Army has vehemently denied.