Ex-COAS barred from travelling abroad for N3.8b fraud

The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah (retd.) from leaving the country for his alleged complicity in an N13.8 billion defence equipment procurement fraud.

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) indicated this in its response to a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Minimah before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Minimah, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/561/2021, claimed to have been prevented from travelling abroad by the NIS and that its official, Abdullahi Umar also confiscated his international passport.

He equally accused them of threatening, intimidating and unlawfully harassing him while he attempted to travel abroad.

The statement in an affidavit supporting the suit filed for Minimah by his lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) reads:

“On the 19th of April, 2021, the applicant (Minimah) was scheduled to travel to Poland sequel to a letter of invitation sent to him inviting him to attend the AIBA Youths Men’s and Women’s World Championship 2021.

“To the greatest shock and dismay of the applicant, on approaching the clearance desk at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, he was stopped by agents of the Nigerian Immigration Service and prevented from boarding.

“The agents of the first respondent (NIS) informed him that he was not permitted to travel out of the country under the directives of the second respondent (CIS Umar) who seized his international passport.

“No reason was given to the applicant by the second respondent with regards to the unlawful seizure of his passport.”

Minimah asked the court to, among others, declare the actions of the respondents as a violation of his rights.



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