By Henry Ojelu
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed December 3 for the hearing of a contempt proceedings filed against the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, over his refusal to obey a court order for the release of the travel document of a Chinese national, Zheng Yue Feng.
Feng filed the proceeding through his lawyers after the NIS boss refused to obey the court order granted five months ago to enable him attend to his failing health.
Feng, a foreign investor, who resides and carries on business in Nigeria had last year dragged the Attorney General of the Federation, the NIS boss and the Minister of Interior before the court following the seizure of his travel passport by NIS officials at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, over a frivolous petition against him by another Chinese and business partner Chen Guo Yan.
In his deposition along with the fundamental human rights enforcement suit he filed through his lawyer, Dr. Monday Ubani, Feng claimed that his travel documents were seized and confiscated by NIS officers acting under the direct and express instructions of their boss Mr Babandede.
Feng further claimed that he was flown to the NIS office in Abuja, where he was unlawfully detained for a period of 16 days, after which he was transferred to the Director General State Security Service’s office in Abuja as well, and was further detained for an additional 7 days before he was released on bail.
While in detention, Feng said he became aware of the covert plans of the NIS boss along with the Minister of Interior to unlawfully have him deported to China through a deportation order which had already been signed.
His timeous action through his lawyers saved him from being illegally deported as the court restrained the Minister of Interior from illegally deporting the applicant.
While the suit is still pending Feng filed a motion seeking an order of the court for permission to travel to China to seek urgent medical treatment.
In the motion, he also prayed to court to direct the NIS to immediately release and give to him, his international passport, in order for him to travel out to China for the urgent medical treatment.
On March 22, Dr. Ubani, who is handling the case with his age long friend Mr. Sam Agweh, SAN moved Feng’s motion paper dated November 14, 2020 before the Court and the Court in its wisdom, granted Mr Feng’s prayers.
Despite having been served the court orders since June, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service has willfully refused to comply with order thereby prompting the contempt proceedings.