The Nigerian opposition leader, Peter Obi was held for several hours at Heathrow Airport for alleged identity theft
Nigerian opposition politician Peter Obi was detained for several hours at London’s Heathrow Airport earlier this month, it has emerged. The Labour Party leader, who was traveling to the UK to celebrate Easter, was held for alleged identity theft, according to a statement issued by his party on Wednesday.
Obi was accosted by immigration officials at Heathrow on April 7, before being handed a detention note and “questioned for a long time,” the spokesperson for the Labour Party’s Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, revealed.
He claimed that the reaction from fellow Nigerians at the airport had saved the former governor of Anambra from prolonged detention and further embarrassment.
“The immigration officials who were also taken aback at the reaction of the people were forced to reveal that Obi was being questioned for a ‘duplication offense’, meaning that someone has been impersonating him in London,” Onifade said.
The spokesperson said there is concern that the incident will harm Obi’s reputation and political career, since “the impersonator is still at large” and “could be committing all kinds of weighty crimes” under his name.
Obi contested the February 25 Nigerian presidential election, in which he finished third. The politician has taken legal action against the results of the vote. He is challenging the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as Nigeria’s president-elect.
The federal government last week accused Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, of treason for allegedly inciting violence after the election. Legal proceedings are ongoing.
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