Nigerian politician Peter Obi was on Friday, April 7, detained at a London airport by immigration officials, his party has said.
Obi, who contested in the February 25 presidential election on a Labour Party ticket and came third, was questioned for hours over alleged identity theft.
Diran Onifade, Spokesman for Labour Party’s Campaign Council, in a statement on Wednesday, said Obi went to London to celebrate Easter and was saved by the spontaneous reaction of Nigerians at Heathrow Airport.
“The Labour Party presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential poll arrived at the Heathrow Airport in London from Nigeria on Good Friday, April 7, 2023, and joined the queue for the necessary airport protocols when he was accosted by immigration officials who handed him a detention note and told him to step aside.
“He was questioned for a long time and it was very strange for a man who lived for over a decade in that country,” Mr Onifade explained in the statement.
He added that it took the intervention of Nigerians who quickly inquired about the delay.
“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.
“The high implication of the offense is that the impersonator could be committing all kinds of weighty crimes and other dubious acts and it would be recorded in Obi’s name.
Since the impersonator is still at large, he said that the “scenario is unimaginable as Peter Obi could be implicated in a series of forbidden acts and even be framed in a manner that could be a huge embarrassment to him, his family, his party, the Obedient movement, and Nigeria, where he currently and remains the conscience of the people’’.