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Group asks UK to probe Obi’s detention



The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has called on the United Kingdom to investigate the detention of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, by the Heathrow Airport immigration officers.

The group, which described Obi as a long-time UK resident, said investigating the incident would avert a recurrence.

The request was contained in a letter to the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly; the UK Minister of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office, Andrew Mitchell; the Co-Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office, Anne-Maria Trevelyan; the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office, David Rutley; the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office (2), Leo Docherty, among others.

The letter was signed by the principal officers of the organisation: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chidinma Udegbunam and Ositadinma Agu, and made available to journalists on Friday.

It read, “It was credibly reported that Mr Peter Obi was arrested, embarrassed, assaulted, humiliated and detained for hours at London’s Heathrow International Airport by immigration officers acting on false intelligence possibly planted by Gestapo agents holding brief for the outgoing government of Nigeria.

“According to media reports, the false intelligence was internationally plotted and planted against Peter Obi using an impostor to internationally discredit him as ‘a serial international financial criminal’ involved in a series of financial crimes.

“As a result, Peter Obi was not only held and embarrassed for hours but also his luggage and other personal items became objects of thorough search and were scattered into pieces and turned upside down.


“His person was also unlawfully put under caution or bodily restricted, arrested and detained for hours before being let off the hook without remorse or apology.”

The group requested that the findings of the investigations be “expeditiously and dispassionately” acted upon by the UK Government.

“Such findings must unmask the sources or suppliers of the false intelligence upon which the UK immigration officers unlawfully acted and that the feathers of those found culpable must be ruffled,” the group added.

It also asked the UK to direct its high commission in Nigeria to publicly issue “an unreserved apology” to Obi.

Meanwhile, another group, the Peter Obi Support Network, on Friday accused the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress of masterminding the incident.

The group, in a statement by its Directorate of Strategic Communications, Onwuasoanya Jones, said the Federal Government was determined to “neutralise the influence of Obi.”

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