Kwara Immigration Rescues 20 Minors

KwaraThe Kwara State Command of the Nigerian Immigration has rescued 20 minor boys, who were used as labourers in farms at Kaiama Local Government of the state.

Parading the boys and the accused farmer who hired them on Wednesday, the State Controller, Mrs Abimbola Abiodun-ojo, said that the Command had been having running battles with the Yoruba farmers in the area, as one of the officers was recently beaten to a pulp for daring to challenge them on the illegal hiring of the minors.

Briefing reporters, Mrs Abiodun-ojo noted that her officers went for routine mop exercise when they met the boys on the farm working.

She said that the boys had been conditioned to believe that they would be given a motorcycle each in exchange for the hard labour.

While 15 of them are from Benin Republic, three are from Togo and remaining two from Burkina Faso.

The Immigration boss said the boys would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons for proper prosecution.

Mrs Abiodun-ojo urged parents to be vigilant and know what they are doing, adding that the children could learn trade instead of being idle.

The alleged farmer, Muraina Salihu, admitted that he only engaged three of the boys and claimed ignorance of the others.

Speaking in Yoruba, Salihu said he had been in the business of hiring the boys for long, adding that he hailed from Ilorin and had been farming in Kaiama for years.

Nigerian Refugees Return From Cameroon  

refugeesThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the return of about 1, 000 refugees to Nigeria on Thursday from Cameroon.

“We already cleared those who have arrived the borders, but Nigerian Immigration is yet to clear so many others”, an official of NEMA told Channels Television.

NEMA also confirmed that within the next 24 hours, about 12,000 Nigerians are expected to return to the country from Cameroon.

The returnees are those who had sought refuge in Cameroon following Boko Haram attacks.

A similar incident occurred in May where over 20,000 people were returned from Lake Chad Island, to allow military operations.

Nigerian Navy Rescues 2 Foreign Nationals

nigerian-navyAfter 10 days of helplessly drifting on sea and surviving on raw fish, two foreign nationals have been rescued by the Nigerian Navy ship ranger and taken to Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bonny.

The Commanding Officer, Captain Joseph Nwachi, told Channels Television that the two men will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration for necessary action.

He said: ”On the 22nd of June, our men from NNS Pathfinder who are deployed at a place called Mistras, an offshore platform, intercepted a boat drifting with two people inside.

”On interruption, they couldn’t speak English. Luckily, one of the workers on board Mistras could speak Portuguese, because they found out that they were Portuguese speaking nationals from the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, who lost their engines and their boat started drifting for about 10 days and they were feeding on raw fish for that period.

”They brought them to our base and we were able to also get in touch with the platform and they gave us the report of what transpired.

”Consequently, we contacted our base, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, located at Rumuolumeni. The Commander there, Commander S.A Mohammed, directed that we should hand them over to immigration.”

He also noted that the Nigerian Navy will not relent in the fight against oil thieves, to ensure safety of the nation’s territorial waters.

Jonathan Launches New 64-Page E-Passport

jonathan-goodluck-Nigeria-PresidentPresident Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Nigerian Immigration officials to improve on their services to visitors and travellers at the airports, as they represent the first image of the country.

He said this at the lunch of the new 64-page e-passport at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, which held shortly before the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

President Goodluck Jonathan and his cabinet members had converged for the weekly council meeting, but they had to listen to the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, and the Immigration officials on the cost implication and what the new 64 page passport is out to do.

He explained that the new 64-page e-passport is specially designed for frequent travellers as well as businessmen and has better conformity with international best practices.

While he acknowledged the idea as being novel, the President noted that uppermost in his mind was how to make Nigerians abroad get their passports with ease, and making the Immigration function effectively as they encounter visitors that come into the country.

“One thing one must know today is that it is not the issue of 64-page passport that is key to Nigerians but the security. If our passport could be easily faked by criminals, then we will have problems. One thing again is how Nigerians are able to get passports easily especially those living outside this country”, he said.

The President noted that if the immigration officers conduct themselves poorly, it reflects on the country, as their conduct at the airports are key and not just the passports.

“What affects every traveler is how efficient and committed our immigration officers work at our airports, visitors that come into the country have different impressions about our immigration officers, so they must improve. They are the image of this country, how they handle visitors matters so much, if they conduct themselves poorly, it reflects on all of us, so their conduct at the airports are key besides the passport”, he said.

The President also had a word for Nigerians and how they portray the country outside the shores. He urged Nigerians to paint respectful pictures of their country so that others would see it in the same light.

The President then proceeded to be the first citizen to get the e-passport followed by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, as they got captured by the Immigration officials.

The e-passport takes off from August 1 and the President expressed optimism that collectively Nigerians can help to create a brighter image for the country, and save travellers the embarrassment they face while travelling abroad.

Nigerian Immigration, Abia State Command Repatriates Illegal Immigrants

Nigeria Immigration Service 1The Nigerian Immigration, Abia State Command, has repatriated some illegal immigrants to their country of origin after a thorough search revealed that they had no valid papers.

According to the State Comptroller of Immigration, Umuahia, Anthonia Opara, most of the illegal immigrants are citizens of Niger Republic who entered the country illegally through the borders.

She warned that the command was on the red alert to comb the entire cranny of Abia State to fish them out and promised that the repatriation would be a continuous exercise.

Some of these illegal immigrants were arrested from the cattle market at Lokpanta in Umunneochi Local Government Area, others from Umuahia, Aba North Local Government, Ohafia, and they could speak the English language except their indigenous language and a bit of Hausa which the bilingual officers of immigration helped to interpret during interviews with them.

One after the other, as their names were called out, they were searched properly before entering the buses ready to take them back to their country.

With the spate of insecurity and insurgency wrecking the country, the need to be more careful and take close awareness of whom the country’s neighbours are could have necessitated the move and the action taken by the Nigerian Immigration to clamp down on the illegal immigrants who were about 70 in number and were caught wandering about or doing menial jobs without valid paper of identification or ECOWAS Permit.

The immigration said that it had lined up another strategy to combat this crime as they were set to discuss with the traditional rulers and indigenes of border communities on the need to report any questionable unidentified persons within their domains.