The Nigerian Immigration have revealed that activists who took active parts in the recent #EndSARS protest across Nigeria have been allegedly placed on a no-fly list.
A no-fly list is a register of people banned from boarding commercial aircrafts for travel within, into, or out of a country.
A number of persons, who took part in the protest had already been prevented from travelling out of Nigeria in recent days by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) after being informed that they were on the no-fly list and were being investigated by the authorities.
A particular case of reference is that of a lawyer, Modupe Odele, who was prevented by the NIS from making a trip to the Maldives where she was billed to celebrate her birthday.
While it was initially thought that the NIS acted alone in that incident, SaharaReporters has now confirmed that the names of Odele and other active participants in the protest were included on the list following their efforts in rallying demonstators at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos where Nigerian Army personnel attacked and killed several protesters on the evening of October 20, 2020.
“Odele was prevented from travelling as a result of a memo from the Nigerian military claiming that they were investigating her.
“The military sent us a no-fly list of #EndSARS leaders especially agitators involved at the Lekki protest,” the NIS source told newsmen.
Earlier on Monday, Modupe Odele had shared with her friends how she was stopped by NIS from travelling out of the country at the Lagos airport.
She said, “For my birthday, I had planned a trip to the Maldives. It was really for a break as the events of the last three weeks have exhausted my mind and body in a way I have never been exhausted in my life.
“I went to the airport, passed through immigration, and while I was putting my bags through the body and baggage scanner, the immigration officer who had previously cleared me, called me back. He told me he had orders from above to detain me.
“Okay, at this point I’m like ‘excuse me, my flight is in an hour. On what grounds are you detaining me?’ He didn’t respond. Instead, he goes to his computer where he typed in my name and something that looked like a ‘wanted poster’ popped up on the portal.
“He blocked my view so I couldn’t see most of it but I saw some of it. And it read something like – ‘This person is under investigation by XYZ intelligence agency. If seen, they should be apprehended on sight.
“Since the #EndSARS peaceful protests started in Nigeria about three weeks ago, I and some super courageous women have been providing support to Nigerians as they came out to peacefully exercise their constitutional rights.
“I was specifically in charge of legal aid and so co-led www.endsarslegalaid.co. where we succeeded in helping over 80 peaceful protesters who were arrested get released. It was back-breaking and emotionally tasking work but the joy that the family expressed when being reunited with loved ones made it all worth it.
“I’m not a full-time activist or human rights attorney. I am a corporate lawyer at the moment so dealing with police stations isn’t my area of expertise. I did what needed to be done in the face of gross injustice and had the support of over 800 wonderful volunteer lawyers.”
Odele, during the nationwide protest, offered her services as a lawyer free of charge to help release scores of participants arrested and detained by the police for exercising their rights.
Responding, the Nigerian Government has denied a ‘no-fly list’ of young Nigerians protesting police brutality in the country after a report exposed the plan.
Already, a few Nigerians have reportedly had their passports seized while attempting to leave the country.
The Ministry of Interior in a tweet on Tuesday said, “The Ministry of Interior did not, has not and will not generate any no-fly list. Ignore fake news, please!”