On April 12, 2023, Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain made a post via the micro-blogging platform Twitter.
Fani-Kayode stated that Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, was accosted, detained and deported back to Nigeria.
“Poor @PeterObi! Accosted, detained & deported back to Nigeria like a common criminal by the British authorities? Why didn’t you say ‘yes daddy’ to the immigration officer? Or better still why didn’t you call the little Englander or the little diva to put in a word for you,” Fani-Kayode tweeted.
Claim: Was Peter Obi detained and deported like a common criminal?
The recently concluded presidential election, which saw Bola Tinubu of the APC become the president-elect has been laced with several controversies.
Obi has since filed a petition to the court challenging the process that led to the outcome of Tinubu’s victory. Since then, several allegations have been made by both parties against each other.
Recently, several tweets emerged claiming that Obi was apprehended in London by immigration officials of the United Kingdom over allegations of impersonation. This was also reported by several media outlets including Premium Times.
The Labour Party also released a statement to explain Obi’s ordeal via their official website. The statement released on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, was signed by the spokesman for the party’s campaign council, Diran Onifade.
Excerpts from the statement read, “The former governor of Anambra was detained and questioned for a duplication offence suggesting that someone must have been impersonating him in London.
“The immigration officials were said to have accosted Obi when he arrived the Heathrow Airport in London from Nigeria on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.”
Nowhere in the official statement released by The Labour Party or by any credible media outlets did it state that Obi was deported to Nigeria.
Rather, the Labour Party stated that “The United Kingdom government has apologised to Mr Peter Obi after an immigration official admitted he wrongly handed him a detention note in a search of a man who impersonated him to commit perjury, forgery, and identity theft.
“They also said the uncomplimentary treatment he received was ‘completely unacceptable,’ and issued a personal apology.”
When contacted, Dean Hurlock, the head of communications at the British High Commission to Nigeria, told CDD Election War Room that the commission is unable to comment on individual cases.
Verdict: Here’s what we know
There is no evidence to support Fani-Kayode’s claim that Peter Obi was deported to Nigeria by the British authorities. The British High Commission to Nigeria told CDD Election War Room that the commission is “unable to comment on individual cases”.