Sunday Karim, a member of the House of Representatives from Kogi State, is currently being prevented by the State Security Service from boarding a flight at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the lawmaker has told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Karim, representing Yagba East and West Federal Constituency, says he was on his way to the United States when state agents suddenly seized his passport as he tried to clear immigration.
The lawmaker said he was scheuled to travel by Air France, and that the flight was already boarding when he was blocked.
Mr. Karim, a PDP lawmaker, said his luggage had already been checked in before the incident, adding that he has “absolutely no prior notice” that the SSS was on his trail.
It is not immediately clear why Mr. Karim is being detained, but law enforcement agencies have recently focused on the activities of lawmakers in the wake of the budget padding scandal.
The police, SSS, EFCC and other agencies have been invited to investigate the scandal, which involved several lawmakers, including the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara.
The House also faced embarrassment recently after a petition by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, to Mr. Dogara accusing some lawmakers of sex allegations petition, was leaked to the media.
The SSS could not be reached for comments because it does not have any spokesperson that interracts with the press.
Mr. Karim said he has been told that it was the EFCC that requested the SSS to prevent him from travelling out of the country, and strongly condemned the development.
“EFCC said I cannot travel. Nigeria has become such a lawless country? If you have issues, you would call me and get a statement from me.
“I find it difficult to believe that we’re still under a democratic government.
“They have seized my passport and I am going back to my house now,” Mr. Karim said.