The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Office has stated that on April 7, UK Immigration officials detained Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport due to a case of mistaken identity.
In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, the deputy vice chancellor of Paul University in Awka, Anambra State, described how Obi had spoken to her about his ordeal in London and the pressure he had been under from influential Nigerian leaders to leave the country.
In response to the news, the Campaign Council’s spokesman, Diran Onifade, stated in a statement on Wednesday that Obi had been arrested and questioned for an offense involving identity theft, supporting Prof. Okunna’s claims that someone had been impersonating Obi in London.
Obi arrived at Heathrow Airport in London from Nigeria on Good Friday, April 7, 2023, and queued up for the required airport procedures when he was approached by an immigration official who gave him a detention note and told him to move aside, according to the statement from Onifade.
“He was interrogated for a considerable amount of time, which struck me as odd considering the man had lived there for more than ten years.
“People instantly raised their voices in question as to why he was being delayed because Obi’s face was already a recognized international frame, particularly for Nigerians, Africans at home, and those in the diaspora who are likely to be Obidients.”
According to Onifade, the spontaneous response of Nigerians at Heathrow Airport who were prepared to cause a commotion over Obi’s imprisonment rescued the situation.
He continued by saying that the immigration officers, who were equally surprised by the crowd’s response, were compelled to inform the audience that Obi was being questioned.
“Since the impostor is still at large, the scenario is unthinkable since Obi may be charged with a number of crimes and even be falsely accused, which would bring great shame upon him, his family, his party, the Obidient Movement, and Nigeria, where he is undeniably still the voice of the people.
“Obi’s phone line was apparently bugged while they may have been hunting for information to discredit him in front of a segment of the public that had overwhelmingly supported him.
“They attempted to get him to leave the country and take a break as if they were not succeeding in damaging his reputation or making the traducers feel more guilty.
According to Onifade, Obi has been the target of several attacks since since the February 25th presidential election. “It’s also not improbable that people pressuring him to leave the country may have placed the impersonators allegedly to stain the Eagle’s clean appearance,” she added.
“Even the Federal Government, which had instructed him to seek legal counsel over the outcome of the election, sent Lai Mohammad, the minister of information, to the United States in an effort to discredit him and charged him with treason.
“The Obi-Datti Media office would like to reassure everyone, especially the Obidients, that the Rock is not discouraged since he is willing to endure the suffering and is even more eager to pursue whatever course his creator intended for him to take.”