The Nigerian Federal Government has refuted claims that it intervened in the detention of Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, in London, United Kingdom last week.According to sources, Obi was reportedly detained at Heathrow Airport in London due to a case of mistaken identity during his recent Easter trip to the UK.
On Thursday, a photo that has been proven to be fake went viral on social media. The photo shows Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the executive chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), sitting in an office with Obi and a UK law enforcement officer. The photo was falsely claimed to be taken during an attempt to secure the release of the LP presidential candidate from detention.
On Thursday, Bashir Ahmad, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, tweeted confirming that the Federal Government played a role in securing the release of Peter Obi from his ordeal.
Ahmad wrote: “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!”
However, the spokesperson and head of the Media, Public Relations, and Protocol Unit of NiDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, has disowned the viral photo, describing it as fake news to mislead the public.
He said the NiDCOM boss, Dabiri-Erewa, was not in the UK and not in a position to secure the release of any Nigerian suspected to be under UK interrogation.
“Our attention has been called to the above social media stunt, which has gone viral. Aunty Abike Dabiri-Erewa is not in the UK and is not in a position to secure the release of any Nigerian suspected of being under UK interrogation. So, members of the public should disregard the information in its entirety,” the NiDCOM spokesman stated.