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Immigration yet to release Odili’s seized int’l passport

By Msugh Ityokura and Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
24 November 2021   |   3:41 am
Thirty-Seven days after Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to release the seized international passport of former Rivers State governor, Peter Odili,...

Peter Odili

• ‘How court processes delay disposal of seized vessels’

Thirty-Seven days after Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to release the seized international passport of former Rivers State governor, Peter Odili, the agency is yet to comply.

The order was issued on October 18, following findings by the court that Odili’s passport was unlawfully seized in July, this year.

Immigration, yesterday, returned to the same court, seeking an order to stay execution of the judgment. Represented by its counsel, Ibrahim Etsu, NIS informed the court of its intention to challenge the judgment.

But infuriated by the action of NIS, Justice Ekwo issued a fresh order directing the agency to bring the contentious passport before the court and deposit it with the Deputy Chief Registrar.

The judge held that the application for stay of the October 18 judgment would not be entertained by his court since NIS was already in contempt with its refusal to release the passport as directed.

Ekwo gave NIS up till December 12 to purge itself of the contempt to qualify to be heard on the motion for stay. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has attributed delay in disposal of seized vessels in its custody to court processes.

It, therefore, called on the National Assembly to provide legislation for the establishment of an admiralty or maritime court to deal exclusively with maritime cases for speedy dispensation of justice.

Chief of Operations, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral A.O Adaji, disclosed this as he addressed members of the House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating the status of recovered movable and immovable assets of government, who were on an investigative visit to the Navy in Abuja, yesterday.

Chairman of the committee, Adejero Adeogun, said the visit was stirred by public demand to understand the state of recovered loots, especially proceeds of crimes.

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