Dabiri-Erewa cautions Nigerians traveling abroad, as man narrates ordeal at Swiss Airport

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has cautioned Nigerian citizens travelling through Switzerland regarding the possession of laser pointers at their airports


This advisory followed the recent detention of Dr. Andrew Etsetowaghan at Geneva Airport for carrying a presentation pointer in his hand luggage after the pointers had been banned in Switzerland since June 1, 2019 of which he was not aware

Hon (Dr) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, (Right) Dr Sule Yakubu Bassi, Secretary to NIDCOM and (Left) Dr Andrew Etsetowaghan who visited NIDCOM in Abuja to narrate his ordeal at Swiss Airport

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO NiDCOM, noted that many immigrants might be unaware of this regulation and urged Nigerian travelers to exercise caution to avoid similar incidents.


Dr. Etsetowaghan, a public health expert and Project Director at the Centre for Clinical Care and Clinical Research Nigeria, was detained on May 25, 2024, after attending a United States Department meeting in Geneva.



Dr. Etsetowaghan , who was part of an official delegation ,recounted his ordeal: “Upon going through security at Geneva Airport, I was informed that my presentation pointer was not allowed in Switzerland.


“I was detained, had my belongings and documents seized, and was subjected to several hours of interrogation and solitary confinement in a cell.


“Despite my compliance, the treatment I received was inhumane, including limited access to bathroom facilities and being forced to sign documents in French under duress.”


Etsetowaghan urged for measures to prevent such incidents in the future. He called for a review of the procedures and better awareness of the banned items to ensure travelers are well-informed.


Reacting to the incident, NiDCOM emphasized the importance of raising awareness about such prohibited items in Switzerland Airports and urged Swiss authorities to enhance their communication on such regulations, describing Dr. Etsetowaghan ordeal as “avoidable“

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