The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has explained it seized international passport of former governor of Rivers state, Peter Odili, because he is on the watch list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The NIS made this known on Wednesday in its response to a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/965/2021, filed by the former governor, in which he is challenging the agency’s action.
In a counter-affidavit filed by its lawyer, Jimoh Adamu: “The applicant’s passport was seized because he is on the service’s (NIS’) watch list as requested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC),”
“It is the government’s policy that streamlines the security agencies present at the point of entry/exit from the country. The respondents (NIS and its comptroller-general) are the lead agency for the above stated function.
“All security agencies collaborate by submitting list of any person on the watch list to the respondents.
“The respondents are to carry out the function at the point of entry/exit. The applicant (Odili) was watch listed at the request by the EFCC.
“By the virtue of Section 31 of the Immigration Act 2015, the respondents are empowered to prevent the departure from Nigeria where there is a request to arrest such a person in the public interest as requested in the instant case by the EFCC.
“By the above section of the Immigration Act, the respondents are empowered to seize the applicant’s international passport because he was watchlisted sequel to EFCC requested.”