From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
A German-based Nigerian, Ahmed Ibrahim who visited Nigeria for the last Ramadan has been allegedly brutalized by officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on his way back to Munich over allegation that his name is among those on a wanted list of terrorists by the Presidency.
The Kwara state-born 32 year-old claimed three officers of the Immigration Service descended on him, with one hitting him with a rod on his head, which is currently bandaged and pictures taken while in the cell showed his blood-soaked cloth was obtained by journalists.
According to him, his ordeal began when he arrived the terminal to undergo his departure formalities and was accosted by Immigration officers, who later seized his passport and was made to miss the Air France flight to Paris enroute the Germany capital.
Ahmed said he was made to sleep on the floor of one of the offices, as he was told he will need clearance from the presidency to leave the country, as his name tallied with that of a terrorist on the wanted list of the Nigeria government.
Ahmed was later taken to Abuja on Tuesday, only to be detained in the evening, having been told he will return back to proceed on his journey to Europe. He later called his relative to inform that he is due to be kept incommunicado by the authority.
His elder brother, Adam Abdullahi told reporters all his effort to claim of innocence and secure his release and proved abortive, as one of the officers, simply identified as Alaje, insisted on transferring the suspect to the headquarters, in the nation’s capital.
Adam said “Ahmed called us on Saturday night after we have seen him off that his passport has been seized by immigration officers who claimed that his name is on the wanted list of persons by the presidency. We ran down only to be told by one Alaje and Umar who were on duty that the case must be taken to Abuja for clearance. They asked us to return on Monday with a return ticket for our brother and one immigration officer who will accompany him.”
“We were told to return with money for return tickets for him and one officer who will accompany to Abuja to ascertain his innocence. But by Sunday night he called again to say he was been beaten by officers on duty, we ran down again from Olambe in Ogun state only to meet him in the cell with his cloth soak in blood while his head was bandage, where he said one officer hit him with a rod.”
Adam said the intervention of a Lagos state House of Assembly member representing Apapa constituency 1, Hon. Egberongbe Mufutau could not secure the release of the suspect.
Ahmed was taken to Abuja on Tuesday only to be detained while his mobile phone and other valuables were confiscated.
His brother, Ahmed, who was on his way to Abuja yesterday, Wednesday morning told reporters he has been threatened by immigration officers to allow the case be handled internally or he will be dealt with as he said the Deputy Controller of Immigration at the MMIA, and another top officer he identify as King has pleaded that his brother was mistaken for a wanted terrorist.
Immigration spokesperson in Abuja, Chukwuemeka Obua was not available as at press time to confirm the development.