EndSars legal aide goes into exile over “immigration trouble”
A Nigerian lawyer and major mobiliser of the #EndSARS movement, Modupe Odele, on Thursday said she has been forced to go on exile due to immigration woes.
“You force me to go on exile from my own country for no crime. I can’t visit and go as I please anymore,” Odele said in a tweet.
“I would have missed my flight if I didn’t make those calls. Because the person to do the secondary clearance wasn’t “on sit”, she added.
This is the second time she would be having issues travelling out of the country after the EndSars protests that rocked the country for almost three weeks.
Odele, who was instrumental to the protests against police brutality in Nigeria, was earlier prevented from travelling out of the country on November 2 – a few days after the protest ended abruptly following the attack on protesters by security officers at Lekki toll gate plaza on October 20.
Her passport was seized and was only returned eight days after. While the reason for the prevention is yet unknown, many believe that it could be connected to her role in the #EndSARS protests.
She was among those who coordinated the provision of legal, medical and security support for the protesters, especially in Lagos.
A media report on Monday claimed that Odele and other influential figures in the two-week protest against police brutality have been placed on a ‘no-travel’ by the Nigerian government.
But the government said the report is ‘fake news’ and that it should be ignored.
“The Ministry of Interior did not, has not, and will not generate any no-fly list,” Nigeria’s interior ministry said.
However, Odele’s new ordeal with the immigration officers suggests otherwise.
“I’m told I’ll always be stopped like that upon entry to or exit from Nigeria. What is my crime again? Providing legal aid?”
She further revealed that the immigration officer that scanned her passport at the airport told her “you get problem o.”
The immigration is yet to speak on Odele’s ordeal.
There have been allegations of a witchhunt against popular supporters of the #EndSARS. While some have been unduly picked up by police, some others have had their bank accounts restricted to date.