By Uche Amunike
Following the frenzy all over the media space concerning the alleged detention of presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Obi, by the Immigration officers at Heathrow Airport in London and how he spent Easter in detention, clarifications have been made by Peter Obi that UK government never tendered any apology to him over his detention.
Speaking, in a statement issued by Head, Media and Communications, Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, (LP/PCC) Diran Onifade, he stated that the rumour was unfounded.
His words: ‘We have been receiving enquiries with regards to a so-called apology, purportedly issued by the British Government or any of its agencies, to our principal, Peter Obi, in respect of a routine Immigration engagement with him, as he arrived London, for a brief visit, last Friday.’
‘Obi and the LP/PCC have since moved on from the incident and continue to be totally focused on the legal processes before the Election Petition Tribunal towards the recovery of our mandate, which we are firmly convinced, was overwhelmingly expressed by voters, in the presidential election of February 25’, he added.
He also stated that Peter Obi and the LP/PPC already moved on from the incident and have concentrated on the legal processes before the election tribunal towards recovering their mandate, which they are sure was generally expressed by the electorate during the presidential election of February 25, 2023.
The statement also read: ‘We would like to state emphatically that we are not aware of any such apology, and have not issued any statement whatsoever, in that regard. While we continue to examine any dubious or political motive, on the part of the perpetrators of the identity theft, we have every confidence in the ability of the British authorities to resolve the matter, to conclusion.’
Ever since the fake rumour about Peter Obi’s UK detention came up, there had been different twists to the story. Recall that it was reported that the former governor was briefly detained at Heathrow Airport in London in a case of mistaken identity as he travelled to spend Easter in the UK.
A fake photo went viral, Thursday, on social media, purportedly showing the Executive Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa sitting in an office setting with Peter Obi and UK law enforcement officers while trying to secure the release of the Labour Party presidential candidate from detention.
On the same day, one of President Buhari’s aides, Bashir Ahmad, also tweeted that the federal government made interventions in Peter Obi’s UK detention, so as to ensure his release.
He tweeted: ‘I heard Aunty @Abike Dabiri has done it for the Compatriot that needed her intervention in the UK. God bless you and the services you have been rendering for our countrymen and women, especially this recent one, ma’am!’
The spokesperson and Head, Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of NiDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun has however disowned the viral photograph, saying it was a stunt, as Dabiri-Erewa was neither in the UK, nor was she in any position to secure the release any Nigerian under investigation in the UK.
He said: ‘Our attention has been called to the above social.media stunt which has gone viral. Aunty Abike Dabiri-Erewa is NOT in UK and NOT in a position to secure the release of any Nigerian suspected to be under UK interrogation. So, members of the public should disregard the information in its entirety.’