Immigration Dismisses Eight Personnel, Sanctions 18 Others

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has dismissed eight of its personnel from service while 18 others were sanctioned for going contrary to certain laid down rules of the Service.

Immigration spokesman, Kenneth Kure, disclosed this in a statement on Friday on behalf of the NIS Comptroller General, Isah Jere Idris.

He said the decision followed the approval granted by the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) to the effect that the conduct of the Personnel has remained grossly unbecoming and unacceptable as members of the Service.

“The Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris MFR has announced the summary dismissal of eight (8) Personnel from the Service and a wide range of sanctions for 18 others found to have committed offences against discipline,” the statement read.

“The announcement followed the approval granted by the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) to the effect that the conduct of the Personnel have remained grossly unbecoming and unacceptable as members of the Service.

“It would be recalled that thirty (35) Personnel were in the cause of the year, presented before both the Senior Disciplinary Committee (SDC) and Orderly Room Trial (ORT) processes to ascertain their level of culpability in the various allegations of offences against discipline ranging from employment racketeering, sharp practices, dishonest conducts, absent from duty without official leave (AWOL) among others, preferred against them.

“After exhaustive deliberations by the committees, eight Personnel comprising one Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI), two Deputy Superintendents of Immigration (DSI), two Assistant Superintendents of Immigration II (ASI2), and three rank and file were summarily dismissed from the Service.”

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Furthermore, one other Chief Superintendent of Immigration was ordered to proceed on compulsory retirement while nine other Personnel were demoted in rank. They include one Assistant Superintendent of Immigration II (ASI2) who has been demoted to the rank of Inspector of Immigration, two Inspectors who have been reduced in rank to Assistant Inspectors, and six (6) other junior Personnel who have been ordered to lose their current ranks.

“Meanwhile, nine (9) other Personnel comprising one Assistant Superintendent of Immigration II (ASI2) and eight (8) junior Personnel were issued warning letters just as six (6) Personnel were discharged and acquitted from all the allegations brought against them.

“In a related development, the Comptroller General has approved the redeployment of 100 Officers and Men from the Lagos Airport with immediate effect while some others have been ordered to face disciplinary procedures to ascertain their level of involvement in some unprofessional conducts and practices reported at the airport recently.

“The Comptroller General wishes to use this medium to restate management’s commitment to zero tolerance for any unprofessional conduct by any Personnel and so enjoins the public to feel free to report any such conducts by any member of the Service for necessary actions.”

Immigration Receives 11 Nigerian Stowaways Rescued On Liberian Waters

A cross-section of the Nigerians received by the Immigration Service.
A cross-section of the Nigerians received by the Immigration Service.

 

The Nigerian Immigration Service at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport has received 11 Nigerians returned by the Liberian Immigration Service (LIS).

The 11 young men were rescued by the LIS on September 11 on that country’s high sea after stowing away on a sea vessel from the Apapa Port in Lagos four days earlier

The LIS said 14 men comprising 13 Nigerians and a Cameroonian initially stowed away but two Nigerians lost their lives after the crew of the ship tortured them when they emerged to beg for food.

The crew of the vessel reportedly threw them aboard to die.

The Comptroller in Charge at The MMIA Immigration Command Adeola Adesokan praised the efforts of their counterparts from Liberia for rescuing and feeding the men in the spirit of the ECOWAS protocol.

She also advised youths who want to leave the country to emigrate properly and not take illegal means that puts their lives at risk.

17 Dead, Dozens Missing In Greece Migrant Sinkings

File photo used for illustration only.

 

At least 17 people died and nearly 30 were still missing after high winds sank two migrant vessels in Greece, the coastguard said Thursday, with some survivors dramatically hoisted to safety by crane.

A dinghy believed to be carrying around 40 people sank east of the island of Lesbos in high winds, coastguard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas told state TV ERT, adding that the people are of apparent African origin.

The bodies of 16 women and a young boy have been recovered from the area so far, the coastguard said.

A few hours earlier, the coastguard was alerted to a sailboat in distress near the island of Kythira, south of the Peloponnese peninsula. The sailboat believed to be carrying around 95 people ran aground and sank near the island port of Diakofti.

Some of the survivors made it to shore, and an operation involving vessels at sea and the fire service and police on land managed to locate 80 asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Dramatic footage released by the coastguard showed some of the survivors hoisted up the vertical face of a huge cliff by rope, some barely managing to hold on.

Kythira mayor Stratos Harhalakis said a construction crane was also used in the “titanic” rescue operation.

There was no official toll yet from a second sinking near the island of Kythira, south of the Peloponnese peninsula, but Harhalakis said he had seen five bodies.

‘Worst place to crash’

“This was the worst possible place on the island to crash,” Harhalakis told ERT. “Nobody could approach (them) by sea, it was incredibly difficult.”

The coastguard said 10 other women had been rescued in the Lesbos incident, while over a dozen people were believed to be missing.

It was difficult to get more information from the survivors as they were “utterly panicked,” Kokkalas said.

The survivors in Kythira includes seven women and 18 children, a coastguard spokeswoman told AFP.

Kokkalas said their sailboat had been “completely destroyed.”

Both operations were facing adverse weather. In the Kythira area, winds were as high as 102 kilometres (63 miles) per hour, the coastguard said.

‘EU must act’

Greece has seen increased migration traffic this year, and accuses Turkey of failing to enforce a 2016 agreement with the EU to keep migrants from sailing on to Europe.

Greece’s Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi on Thursday tweeted after the two incidents that Turkey should “take immediate action to prevent all irregular departures due to harsh weather conditions”.

“Already today many lives lost in the Aegean, people are drowning in unseaworthy vessels. EU must act,” Mitarachi said.

Greece, Italy and Spain are among the countries used by people fleeing Africa and the Middle East in search of safety and better lives in the European Union.

The coastguard has said it has rescued about 1,500 people in the first eight months of the year, up from fewer than 600 last year.

Officials note that smugglers now often take the longer and more perilous route south of the country, and sailing out from Lebanon instead of Turkey to bypass patrols in the Aegean Sea and reach Italy.

In December, at least 30 people perished in three separate migrant boat sinkings in the Aegean. The precise death toll is almost impossible to calculate as some bodies are never recovered, or reach shore weeks later.

Greece has rejected persistent claims from rights groups that many more have been illegally pushed back to Turkey without being allowed to lodge asylum claims.

Over the weekend, another group of over 50 migrants whose sailing boat ran into difficulty in the Ionian Sea refused Greek assistance for an entire day until deteriorating weather forced them to back down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month said Greek “oppressive policies” against migrants were turning the Aegean into a “graveyard.”

Greece’s Mitarachi this week countered that Turkey is “violently pushing forward migrants to Greece, in violation of international law” and the EU agreement.

Southern European nations — Greece, Spain, Italy, Malta and Cyprus — expect around 160,000 asylum seekers to arrive on their shores this year, Mitarachi told reporters last month.

Bandits Attack Immigration Officers, Kill One In Jigawa

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Bandits have attacked immigration officers in Birniwa Local Government Area of Jigawa State, killing one and injuring two others.

This was disclosed by the Comptroller of the Nigerian Immigration Service in the state, ACG Ismail Abba Aliyu, during a news conference on Wednesday in Dutse.

He claimed that the bandits ambushed the officers during a patrol along the Galadi-Birniwa axis, noting that the attack took place on Tuesday night.

According to him, the bandits, numbering about five, arrived at the patrol base on two motorbikes and started attacking the cops.

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“One was carrying three people and the other one was carrying two people and immediately on arrival, they opened fire on the Immigration officers on patrol, which resulted in the death of one of the staff named Abdullahi Mohammed (CIA) and two others sustained bullet injuries,” Aliyu said.

He identified the injured officers as Abba Musa Kiyawa and Zubairu Garba , adding that three others, however, managed to flee the attack.

The gunmen were said to have fled into the bush after exchanging gunfire, leaving their motorcycles and phones behind.

The two injured officers are responding to treatment in a medical facility in Jigawa State.

The comptroller stated that the Command will submit the recovered handsets and motorcycles to the police for additional investigation.

Additionally, he urged residents of the state to assist the law enforcement agencies by providing any useful information that could aid in the capture of the criminals.

Alleged Organ Harvesting: Immigration Confirms Age Of ‘Victim’ In Ekweremadu’s Case

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has confirmed the age of the alleged victim of organ harvesting, David Nwamini, in a case involving former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Comptroller General of NIS, Mr Isah Idris, disclosed that the said kidney donor was 21, and not 15 as claimed.

Channels Television had reported last Thursday that the London Metropolitan Police said it had arrested Senator Ekweremadu and his wife over allegations of conspiring to bring a child to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting.

While the Met police said Nwamini was 15, a UK court ordered that the couple be remanded in custody till July 7 while investigations continued into the allegations against them.

This has sparked concerns from various parts of the country with many sending goodwill messages to the Ekweremadus and others saying the alleged victim took advantage of the couple to claim asylum in the UK.

READ ALSO: UK Police Arrest Ike Ekweremadu, Wife For Organ Harvesting

Amid the controversy over Nwamini’s age, the immigration chief explained the procedures involved before Nwamini was issued an international passport by the NIS.

He stressed that there was no falsification of age on the passport issued by the immigration as claimed, adding that the agency followed the due process.

According to Idris, insinuations that the NIS did not properly vet the said victim’s documents presented by Nwamini are mere fabrications aimed at tarnishing the image of the NIS.

He recounted that Nwamini applied and paid for the enhanced e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office in Abuja for an interview in November last year.

The NIS boss stated that the applicant presented his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) which indicated October 12, 2000, as his date of birth, in addition to other important documents showing his age.

He insisted that the date of birth or any other information on any passport issued by the immigration is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process, adding that Nwamini’s case was not an exception.

Read the full statement below:

NIS STRICTLY ADHERED TO DUE PROCESS IN THE ISSUANCE OF THE NIGERIAN PASSPORT TO MR DAVID UKPO NWAMINI

The attention of the Service has been drawn to the trending issue in connection with an alleged case of age falsification on a Nigerian Standard Passport issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service to a Nigerian who is alleged to be at the centre of an investigation of the case of “organ harvesting”.

The Service wishes to set the record straight by informing the general public that the views being expressed that the service did not properly vet the breeder documents issued by the applicant during his passport application process are not correct, but mere fabrications aimed at tarnishing the image of the Service.

The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr David Ukpo Nwamini applied and paid for the Enhanced e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd of November, 2021 for his interview.

To support his application, Mr. Nwamini presented all the necessary documents required, including his birth certificate issued by National Population Commission (NPC), showing 12 October 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN), issued by NIMC corroborating the date of birth; a certificate of origin issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed.

In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both the applicant’s breeder documents and the person. Mr. Nwamini’s case, therefore, was not an exception.

While assuring of the Service’s commitment to protecting the integrity of the passport, the Service wishes to seize this opportunity to appeal to the general public to desist from making such unfounded utterances as they are capable of denting the image of the Service.

Signed

ISAH JERE IDRIS

COMPTROLLER GENERAL

NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE

25TH JUNE, 2022

Immigration Decries Inability To Effectively Man Borderlines, 1,490 Illegal Entry Points

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has decried the inadequacy within its workforce which it is said has prevented the service from properly manning the nation’s borderlines.

Acting Controller-General of Immigration (CGI), Isah Idris, stated this during a virtual media interaction where he said the major responsibility of the service was border security, without overlooking the importance of passport issuance as another mandate.

According to him, the entire workforce of NIS is not more than 25,000 while Nigeria’s borders are massive, covering 5,330 kilometres with an estimated 1,490 illegal entry points into the country.

“So, it is increasingly difficult for us to adequately man the borderlines,” the NIS boss admitted. “That is why we have continued to appeal to the government to increase our budgetary allocations and also grant us approval for recruitments to reinforce the workforce.

“We thank the President and the team for the approval and the recruitment we carried out in 2021, but the reality is that we need more personnel to achieve effective border management and control.”

Idris said the NIS has taken some measures to improve border security and tackle the influx of illegal migrants in the country.

For him, the best way to man the vast border points in Nigeria is the deployment of technology and with NIS technology building already in place, efforts have reached an advanced stage to launch electronic border management systems across 84 border locations.

The NIS chief added that the border patrol system was also being enhanced to ensure close and improved monitoring with the available personnel.

He revealed that the NIS conducts raids regularly and many irregular residents in Nigeria are regularly picked up and eased out.

Idris, however, cautioned Nigerians that not every non-Nigerian seen in the country should be classified as an illegal migrant, saying ECOWAS protocol which Nigeria is a signatory to also grants citizens of member-states freedom which comes with conditions.

“So, it takes experts like our men to determine if a non-Nigerian is an illegal resident or not,” he said. “Some of them have their papers that permit them to stay for a certain period based on the protocols we are committed to as a nation.

“We carry out raids and most times we don’t announce this for some diplomatic reasons. But I can assure Nigerians that we are doing our best to ensure that only legal migrants live and work in Nigeria. Just two days ago, three illegal Sudanese residents in Nigeria were picked up. So, we are not resting.”

Immigration Comptroller Warns Officers Against Corruption, Threatens Sanctions

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Command, Lagos, Kemi Nandap, has warned officers against indulging in sharp practices.

In a statement issued on Friday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Louisa Amadiokoro, the comptroller pledged to implement the roadmap of the acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Jere, in fighting corruption in the system.

She warned that any officer at the Command caught engaging in swindling of air travellers or attempting to put the name of the service in disrepute would be dealt with accordingly.

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“The officers are presently undergoing an intensive training programme, which is aimed at re-orientating them and ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the task ahead,” Nandap was quoted as saying.

“Upon the completion of the training, the officers are expected to go round on attachment at different wings and other sections like the Visa on Arrival, Statistics, Human Resources, Quits Aviation and other key areas of the airport. After all these, the officers will be assessed based on their performance. If the Command is not satisfied with any of them, such an officer would be sent back for retraining.”

According to her, the essence of training officers is to ensure that the officers are well-equipped for the job ahead.

She emphasised that the Command being the first port of contact for international travellers coming into Nigeria, requires committed, hardworking and refined officers to positively represent the image of the country.

“The officers are presently undergoing an intensive training programme, which is aimed at re-orientating them and ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the task ahead,” Nandap said.

“Upon the completion of the training, the officers are expected to go round on attachment at different wings and other sections like the Visa on Arrival, Statistics, Human Resources, Quits Aviation and other key areas of the airport. After all these, the officers will be assessed based on their performance. If the Command is not satisfied with any of them, such an officer would be sent back for retraining.”

The service headquarters recently redeployed over 30 officers to the MMA Command following the commissioning of the new international terminal at the airport.

Some of the officers would be deployed to the new terminal, which was commissioned on March 22, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Immigration Officials Intercept American Citizen With Firearms At Lagos Airport

The new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos is expected handle up to 20 million passengers annually.
A file photo showing the new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos which is expected to handle up to 20 million passengers annually.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos Command has intercepted an American citizen with firearms at the airport.

The male passenger, whose name was not given, arrived in the country aboard a United Airlines flight from Houston, the United States at 10:10 am on Thursday and was discovered to have checked in the firearms.

According to an investigation, the passenger had two international passports; Nigerian and American.

A security official speaking off-camera said that the American citizen did not declare the firearms as stipulated in international laws on firearms carriage.

He explained that the passenger had some documents from the U.S which allowed him to carry firearms but the authenticity of the papers could not be ascertained.

FAAN Confirms Immigration Officers Extorted 14-Year-Old Girl

A file photo of FAAN logo.

 

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed the reports that some immigration officers extorted money from a 14-year-old girl that was en route to Canada.

In a series of tweets via her handle @Imoteda, the mother of the girl, on February 19, 2022, explained that her daughter was travelling on Qatar Airlines when two officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service extorted the sum of eight thousand naira from her daughter.

“They took money from a 14 year(sic) Didn’t even leave her with 1kobo or one thousand naira so she can buy food while she waits,” she wrote. “I am so angry. A child!!!!!!! Why are you stealing money from a child! And you took all of it and didn’t let her call her mother?!!!”

Following the allegations, the FAAN Aviation security officers were however commissioned to investigate the accusations.

In a statement by the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, the accusations were true and officers involved were identified with the help of CCTV footage.

“Upon investigation, they found the allegation to be true, as the officers involved were identified with the help of footages on our CCTV facility, and the cooperation from the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“Consequently, the officers were made to refund the exact amount collected from the passenger.

“Their On Duty Cards were also withdrawn permanently, and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian airport, to serve as a deterrent to others”, the statement read”.

The Ag, GM of the authority commended the mother of the teenage “who has confirmed receipt of the money, for deeming it fit to escalate the case, and assisting us tremendously in the course of our investigation.

“Also, we would like to express our appreciation to the Comptroller of Immigration, MMA, and her team for her cooperation and support in addressing this issue”, she added.

She further added that the Authority will continue to identify and sanction any airport official (including FAAN officials) found to be extorting passengers or perpetuating any act of illegality at our airports.

Odili Passport Seizure: Court Awards N2m Fine Against Immigration

A photo combination of the Federal High Court Abuja and ex-Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili.
A photo combination of the Federal High Court Abuja and ex-Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili.

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded the sum of N2 million against the Nigerian Immigration Service for their absence in court twice, in the suit between the former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, and the NIS.

In his ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to take disciplinary measures against the counsel of the immigration service Jimoh Adamu, for his absence in court and unprofessional conduct.

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The court also ordered that he must be present in court at the next adjourned date, to show cause why disciplinary measures should not be taking against him.

Counsel to Odili, Ifedayo Adedipe, had urged the court to, among others, penalise Adamu for disrespecting the court and treating it with contempt.

The case has been adjourned to January 23, 2022, for hearing.

Peter Odili Sues Nigerian Immigration Over Passport Seizure

Peter Odili (File Photo)

 

Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has dragged the Nigeria Immigration Service, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit on Wednesday, he claimed that the international passport was seized from him on June 20, by operatives of the service and has been withheld since then.

Odili prayed the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, to compel the service to release the passport and order a perpetual injunction against the respondents, from harassing him any further and interfering with his fundamental rights of movement.

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However, the immigration service revealed that the former governor’s passport was seized because he was on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The affidavit by the service also indicated that Mr Odili had never cared to know why his passport was seized, or demand its release.

Justice Mohammed subsequently fixed September 28, 2021 for hearing.

Immigration Rescues 11-Month-Old Baby, Nine Other Victims In Katsina

Some suspected victims of human trafficking being rescued by the Katsina Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service on May 7, 2021.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has rescued 10 suspected trafficked victims along the famous Babban Mutum Axis in Katsina State.

It was gathered that the victims comprise an 11-month-old baby girl, eight women and a man are from Delta, Edo, Lagos, Enugu and Ekiti States.

They were said to have been misled by their traffickers whose business is to ferry persons across the border through illegal routes for their selfish gains.

Briefing journalists on Friday at the command headquarters in Katsina, the NIS Commander, Comptroller Abdurrazaq Mu’azu said that none of the victims was in possession of any travel document with no means of livelihood.

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He noted that the victims were rescued in their attempt to cross the border to the Niger Republic en-route Libya through one of the Nigerian illegal routes.

“I will like to assure the general public that Katsina State will no longer be used as a transit route for trans-border Crimes,” he said.

“As you can see before you, these ten suspected victims of Human Trafficking will now be handed over to NAPTIP Liaison Office, Katsina for further investigation, counselling, training, rehabilitation and prosecution as the case may be.”

The NIS Commander also advised human traffickers, migrant smugglers and their collaborators to have a change of mind and stop the illegal business, adding that the Service has provided a conducive atmosphere in terms of welfare and training to counter the challenges.

He also announced that this brings a total of 33 victims of human trafficking rescued and four suspected traffickers arrested by the command from March 19 to date.

This comes about two months after two suspects were nabbed in connection with human trafficking by operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina State.

The suspects identified as Fatima Abdullahi, and Amadu Abdullahi, both from Lagos State were arrested on March 16th following an intelligence report received by the command.

In the process of arresting the suspects at Charanchi Patrol Base, 18 victims have been rescued.