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January 27, 2021

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Again, EndSARS promoter intimidated while travelling abroad

3 min read

For the second time, a Nigerian lawyer and a major mobiliser of the #EndSARS movement, Modupe Odele, said she was intimidated by the Nigeria Immigration (NIS) on Wednesday as she travelled out of the country.

Mrs Odele mobilised her over 200,000 followers on Twitter during the October protests against police brutality and the excesses of its Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). She also provided legal support at a point.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how immigration officers stopped her from flying to the Maldives to celebrate her birthday in November.

Although the immigration denied any involvement in Ms Odele’s ordeal, many believed that it was to clamp down on promoters of EndSARS protest as it came at a time the Nigerian government moved to freeze protesters’ bank accounts and took other repressive steps.

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, Ms Odele took to her Twitter page to report that the immigration officers stopped her for a “secondary clearance” until she made a “call” before she was allowed passage.

“So shocking that these people stopped me again and took my passport for “secondary clearance” again.

Tbh I didn’t think they would even try it. But here we are.

“I had to make a call to be allowed to pass through. And 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?

Anyway, this is obviously goodbye to Nigeria for a long time,” she wrote on twitter.

The lawyer added that she could have missed her flight if she did not make the saving call.

“You force me to go on exile from my own country for no crime. I can’t visit and go as I please anymore. What a shame. 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’.

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“I do not regret anything I did because we did a good thing. But the stress that has come with this makes me wonder sometimes if it was worth it.
“Bugged phones, security agents tailing, bank accounts blocking. For what????!”

When PREMIUM TIMES reached out to the spokesperson of the immigration service, Sunday James, he denied anything of such, accusing Ms Odele of making a fuss of nothing.

“I was just briefed by the patrol. She has travelled to Turkey yesterday. This woman is just trying to make herself unnecessary popular. You know all these bloggers and what they do to get followers,” he said on Thursday.

When asked if there is anything like a secondary clearance, he said he is not aware of such.

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