Nigeria’s leading investigative newspaper PREMIUM TIMES has written to the UK government seeking details of the arrest and detention of Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi at London’s Heathrow airport last week by immigration officials.
In a letter sent to the UK Home Office on April 13, the newspaper sought to understand the circumstances surrounding Mr. Obi’s emergency in the European country during Easter.
On Wednesday, Obi-Datti Media, Diran Onifade, revealed in a statement that the LP candidate was arrested last week in London by UK immigration officials on suspicion of impersonation.
Mr. Onifade, however, said that Mr. Obi has returned to Nigeria.
“The February 25 LP presidential candidate arrived at London Heathrow Airport from Nigeria on Good Friday, April 7, 2023, and complied with the required airport protocols when he was detained by immigration officials who apprehended him and told him to leave,” the statement said.
He added that Mr. Obi, the former governor of Anambra state in southeastern Nigeria, was harassed by immigration officials in London and detained where he spent his Easter vacation.
The statement, however, did not highlight the necessary details of Mr. Obi’s arrest and subsequent discharge before he returned to the country.
Likewise, the UK government has not yet released any information about Mr. Obi’s incident in London.
Based on these concerns and the desire to accurately report the incident amid unfounded claims of trouble on social media, PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday made a phone call to the UK Home Office to get more details on Mr. Obi’s ordeal.
However, this newspaper was asked to write a letter formally requesting the details.
The letter signed by the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Musikilu Mojeed, sought to shed light on Mr. Obi’s crimes, when and how he was released, under what conditions, the current status and current status of the case against him. other related issues.
“Our newspaper is interested in understanding the circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of Mr. Obi, including:
– Details of the arrest,
– his crimes,
– when and how they were released,
– conditions under which they were released,
– the current status of the case against him and
– whether he was sued and in which court”, said the letter.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the crimes committed by the “impersonators” that led to Mr. Obi’s arrest and the current status of his access to the UK, a similar request to Mr. Onifade also went unanswered. presenting this report.
Also, a check by this paper on the LP website also revealed that the party may have deleted the statement issued by Mr. Onifade on Mr. Obi’s London ordeal that he had earlier published.
No apologies from the UK authorities
Meanwhile, the LP has denied that the UK Government apologized to Mr Obi over the “arrest”, “detention” and “harassment” at London airport, his party said in a statement.
“We are receiving questions about a so-called apology allegedly issued by the British Government or one of its agencies to our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Peter Obi, in relation to a routine immigration engagement with him when he arrived in London for a short visit last Friday, April 7.
“We want to state categorically that we are not aware of any such apology, and we have not made any statement to that effect,” Mr. Onifade said in a statement on Thursday.
The LP spokesman said that while the party continued to investigate any dubious or political motives on the part of the perpetrators of identity theft, it had full confidence in the ability of the British authorities to resolve the matter to a conclusion.
“Mr. Peter Obi and the LP/PCC have moved on from the incident and remain fully focused on the legal proceedings before the Electoral Petition Tribunal to reclaim our mandate, which we are convinced the voters have fully expressed.” in the February 25 presidential election,” the statement says.
The LP presidential candidate has yet to speak about his ordeal in London.
Mr. Obi was one of 18 candidates in Nigeria’s last presidential election, where he came third.
The Electoral Commission declared the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu the winner of the poll with over eight million votes against Mr. Obi’s over six million votes.
The LP candidate is challenging the result in court.
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