Immigration Enforces Ban On 100 Travellers For Violating COVID-19 Protocols

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019.
A file photo of NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede.

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced the enforcement of travel restriction order on 100 passengers who violated the COVID-19 protocols of the Federal Government.

NIS Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, announced this in a statement on Monday.

According to him, the Comptroller-General of the service, Muhammad Babandede, has directed the relevant formations in the country to ensure immediate compliance with the travel restriction order.

The NIS spokesman explained that the action of the immigration boss was in line with the government’s directives on temporary travel restrictions on the 100 passengers.

He said the erring travellers failed to comply with the mandatory day-seven post-arrival COVID-19 PCR Test for all inbound passengers.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 90,000 As NCDC Confirms Nine More Deaths

“The 100 defaulting passengers have been restricted for a period of six months, from January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

“All the affected passengers have been notified and will be prevented from passport re-issuance and travelling outside the country during this period,” the statement said.

The service warned the affected passengers to comply with the restriction order to avoid breaching public health protocols and refusal of departure.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had hinted that the details of the first 100 passengers who failed to take the test would be published in the national dailies.

Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), gave the hint at the PTF briefing held on Tuesday last week in Abuja.

He added that the passports of the affected people would also be suspended till June 2021, to serve as a deterrent for others.

This comes as the government imposes stricter measures to curb a further spread of the disease as Nigeria begins to see the second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Despite the disturbing single-day number of cases reported recently, the government believes a second nationwide lockdown is not yet the way to go.

As of Sunday night, Nigeria has a total of 90,080 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 75,044 people have been discharged and 1,311 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

625 Deported Nigerians Returned Via Abuja Airport In 2020 – Immigration

This photo taken on July 6, 2020, shows the front view of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

A total of 625 deported Nigerians returned to the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja.

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He added that 24 other Nigerians were repatriated for various criminal and immigration-related offences abroad.

Back in the country, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirements were refused admission and returned, said James.

He noted that the year witnessed a global pandemic – COVID-19 – which prompted various countries to enforce mandatory lockdown and border closure before their eventual relaxation within the year.

The NIS spokesman stated that Nigeria had its fair share of the COVID-19 experience and the Service, as the lead agency in charge of migration control and border management at the airport in Abuja, stepped up personnel protection to insulate them from contracting the disease.

He listed some of the measures taken to include the installation of glass shields that separate the operatives from passengers, as well as the use of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitisers, among others.

“No fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja between 1st January 2020 and 15th December 2020. So far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 non-Nigerians departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad.

“Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 non-Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review,” the statement said.

James revealed that in the course of the year, 34 Nigerians – predominantly young ladies – were refused departure for non-compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws.

He explained that the young ladies were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 to 28.

“Their final destination was Dubai, UAE. Upon interception, they were profiled and forwarded to NIS Service Headquarters for further investigation and released to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for rehabilitation.

“In the same vein, the change of operational strategy led to the uncovering of the persons recruiting and trafficking these ladies via sting operation where six recruiters/traffickers were apprehended – four males and two females. In addition, the identities of 3 recruiters/sponsors resident in Dubai were equally uncovered,” the statement said.

The NIS spokesman disclosed that NAIA Command, within the period under review, received and handed over 100 Nigerians whose offences were not immigration-related, such as drug-related issues, financial crimes, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, to relevant agencies.

NIS Recruitment Scam: Nepotism, Lopsidedness Derailed Exercise – Moro Tells Court

Abba Moro

 

Former Minister of Interior, Abba Patrick Moro, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, began his defense before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, stating in his testimony that the March 17, 2014 recruitment exercise of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was marred by controversies, nepotism, job racketeering, and lopsidedness.

These biases Mr Moro argued derailed the exercise even before he was appointed Minister of Interior.

“The recruitment was marred with controversies, accusations, nepotism, job racketeering, and lopsidedness. The controversies had derailed recruitment exercise even before I became the Minister of Interior,” he stated.

Moro entered his defense on counts two, four, five, and 11 out of the 11- count charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, given that the rest of the charges were dismissed in his “no-case submission.”

Testifying as first defense witness (DW1), and led by his counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, he said the Ministry of Interior, sometime in December 2012 received a waiver from the Office of the Head of Service for the recruitment of 4556 (Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty-six) officers, which he directed be to recruited accordingly.

He said he had to cancel the initial exercise with assurance to the country that he was going to enthrone a cost-effective and modern method of recruitment, which he said saw to a proposal from a technology company for an e-recruitment platform.

He said the e-recruitment platform was adopted and forwarded to the procurement department for vetting and approval and the Ministerial Tenders Board, which approved Drexel Technological Ltd for the project for a period of five years and forwarded to his office for his endorsement.

Moro told the court he was not a member of the Ministerial Tenders’ Board and did not influence the award to Drexel Ltd. He also denied inviting any company for the bidding exercise.

He, therefore, wondered why he was standing trial for procurement fraud when he was not part of his ministry’s procurement department.

“I am not a member of the procurement department and I couldn’t have influenced anybody and therefore did not commit any fraud,” he said.

Moro also told the court that he could not have caused the stampede that claimed the lives of applicants in the recruitment exercise, because the recruitment process, according to him, started in 2012 and was eventually carried out in 2014.

Moro is facing trial alongside Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former permanent secretary in the ministry; F.O. Alayebami, a deputy director in the ministry, Mahmood Ahmadu, currently at large, and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm involved in the ill-fated recruitment exercise, for money laundering, abuse of office, procurement fraud and fraud against Nigerian applicants to the tune of N675, 675,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy-five Million, Six Hundred and Seventy- five Thousand Naira only).

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till February 23, 24, and 25, 2021, for Moro’s cross-examination and continuation of trial.

Eight Days Later, #EndSARS Lawyer, Activist Gets Her Passport Back

 

One of the lawyers who provided legal aid to #EndSARS protesters, Modupe Odele has finally gotten back her passport eight days after it was seized by officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

Odele passport was seized by NIS on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, when she was on her way to Maldives, to celebrate her birthday.

 Odele, who is a tech and startup lawyer sought clarity on why her passport was being held back and gathered that she was being investigated by an intelligence agency over charges unknown to her.

READ ALSO: Clampdown On #EndSARS Promoters Is Unacceptable And Not Wise, Moghalu Tells FG

Confirming in a tweet on Monday, Odele confirmed the release of her passport, saying she was told that she can now travel whenever she wishes.

“Passport now picked up. No issues. I’m told I can travel at any time. Thank you so much everyone for the help and concern,” she tweeted.

 

On November 3, the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for the nation’s internal security and oversees the NIS, had said it “did not, has not and will not generate any no-fly list” targeted at #EndSARS protesters.

In what appears to be a clampdown on #EndSARS protesters the CBN received an order granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed to freeze the account of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to the #EndSARS campaign.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.

Others are: Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.

This has sparked outrage across the country and has been condemned by lawyers, activists, and civil groups.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami when asked on Monday about the legality of freezing bank accounts owned by #EndSARS protesters and promoters, he kept mum, smile, and walked away.

Immigration Blocks 58 Nigerian Doctors From Leaving For The UK

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019.
NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019.

 

The Nigerian Immigration Service said on Friday that it had blocked 58 medical doctors from leaving the country through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos via a chartered flight.

According to a statement signed by Immigration spokesman, Sunday James, the doctors had no visa for entry to the United Kingdom, while only two had a valid visa.

The statement stressed that the NIS had received no notification from the “Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known Medical body” of the doctors’ itinerary.

The NIS added that it “will not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements” to flout relevant laws, especially amid a coronavirus pandemic.

“This is to avoid refusal of Entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst Covid-19 pandemic and spreading of same as well as flouting the Federal Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reason as approved by government,” the statement said.

The chartered flight, the NIS said, has already left without the doctors.

 

Read the full NIS statement:


NIS/SHQ/PRU/290

10th July 2020

PRESS RELEASE

NIS REFUSES DEPARTURE OF 58 NIGERIAN MEDICAL DOCTORS TO LONDON THROUGH MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, LAGOS BY A CHARTERED FLIGHT

1. The Nigeria Immigration Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos has refused departure of fifty-eight (58) Nigerian Doctors who attempted traveling aboard a UK bound aircraft flight number ENT 550, registration number SP-ES that flew in from London. Fifty-Six (56) of the Doctors had no Visa for entry to United Kingdom, while only two (2) had visa.

2. The Fifty-eight (58) Medical Doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 subsection 2a and b, on powers conferred on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service by the Immigration Act 2015, to prohibit departure of any person under the conditions stated in the Act. The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry forty-two (42) medical doctors for a training program but they were fifty-eight (58) with only two (2) having Visa for entry into UK, a situation that calls for refusal of departure.

3. The Nigeria Immigration Service as the agency saddled with control of entry and departure from Nigeria of persons will not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements, which include having a valid visa for entry into a destination country to leave. This is to avoid refusal of Entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst Covid-19 pandemic and spreading of same as well as flouting the Federal Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reason as approved by government.

4. There is no official communication to the Service from the Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known Medical body notifying the NIS of the travel of this number of Medical Doctors. The Aircraft has departed for London without the Medical Doctors.

5.The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, MFR, is taking this opportunity to advise Nigerians to always adhere to travel protocols and ensure they have Valid passports with Valid Visa to the country they intended travelling to before going to any Airport, Seaport or Land Border Control to avoid refusal to depart.

Signed
DCI Sunday James pcc
Service Public Relations Officer
For: Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service

 

Immigration Arrests 24 Togolese, Nigerians At Ogun Border

 

Operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have arrested 14 Togolese nationals and 10 Nigerians at Ajilete and Ilase border posts in Ogun State.

The Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

According to him, the Togolese nationals who are all females comprise eight adults and six minors.

James explained that they were arrested in a J5 bus at Ajilete and the other 10 Nigerians were apprehended at Ilase for defying the government’s directive on the closure of land borders.

He added that five of the Nigerians were victims of human trafficking and would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The NIS spokesman said the arrested persons were profiled by the Comptroller of the Ogun State Command, Kunle Osisanya, after health officials subjected them to COVID-19 tests in line with the medical procedures of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

In his reaction, the Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, commended the officers for the success and asked them to up the tempo of their patrol.

He noted that some of the arrests were along illegal points created by the smugglers in the area.

Immigration Boss Babandede Tests Positive For Coronavirus

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019.
A file photo of NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede.

 

 

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, revealed Babandede’s health status in a statement sent to Channels Television on Sunday.

He noted that the comptroller-general returned recently from the United Kingdom, although the purpose of the visit was not disclosed.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Coronavirus Cases Rise To 97 As NCDC Confirms Eight More Infections

As a top official of the government, James said Babandede adhered to the instructions of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to self-isolate and undergo a test.

“The result of the test came out positive, hence the need to make it public. He conveys his goodwill to all, and he is in stable condition responding to treatment,” the statement said.

According to the Service spokesman, the comptroller-general is active and directing as expected, the affairs of the service online.

He said the Deputy Comptroller-General overseeing the administration of the service has been in touch with Babandede online to keep the activities of the service running within the period.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service community will continue to deliver on its mandate for the nation, even in these trying times as we pray the whole world gets over it, Nigeria inclusive,” the statement added.

Immigration Boss, Officers To Undergo Drug Test

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019.

 

 

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, and all officers of the service would undergo a drug test.

The Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Saturday.

According to him, Babandede made the announcement at the third Conversion/Upgrading Course at the Premier Immigration Training School in Kano State, north-west Nigeria.

The immigration boss explained that the exercise, which would commence with him as the first to be tested, was aimed at ensuring that personnel discharge their duties professionally.

He stressed the need for personnel of the service to be cautious as they carry arms in line of duty, giving assurance that those who test positive at first would not be dismissed.

READ ALSO: 9th Senate Is Prepared To Change Nigeria For The Better – Lawan

“As armed services, we cannot afford to be careless with the weapon. Hence all officers of the Service will undergo drug test, beginning with me,” Babandede was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added, “We shall not dismiss anyone at first discovery, but try to rehabilitate. If the fellow continued unrepentant, administrative procedures will be followed and appropriate sanctions applied.”

The Immigration boss reiterated the need for the officers to put what they learned into action, noting that the Service has invested so much into training and capacity development.

He also encouraged the participants to maximise the knowledge of ICT gained to uplift the standard expected of the service among other sister agencies, without competing but complementing each other wherever and whenever the need arises.

Babandede described the ‘Visa on Arrival’ policy as a huge opportunity for Africans coming for legitimate businesses to thrive in countries other than their nations.

According to him, it is also a means of integration and cementing African brotherhood relationships, thereby breaking down the barriers to free movement among fellow Africans.

The comptroller general assured Nigerians that the policy would be handled professionally while adopting best known global practices to liberalise the ‘Visa on Arrival’ regime without compromising national security.

He recalled the presidential amnesty granted by President Muhammadu Buhari for non-Nigerians to register with the Federal Government, stressing that the six-month window would expire in January 2020.

Babandede, however, said registration would continue to enable every migrant get registered and remain in the country.

He warned that any defaulter who refuses to take advantage of the opportunity would be removed from the country.

Immigration Registers 11,000 Foreign Nationals In Ogun

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service has registered 11,000 foreigners in the ongoing Migrants E-Registration

Comptroller of Immigration in Ogun state, Doris Braimah, made this known on Thursday in Abeokuta, the state capital.

While receiving the Ghanaian Consular-General to Nigeria, James Nyasembi, in her office, the NIS boss appealed to Head of Mission of foreign countries in Nigeria to issue the necessary documents and means of identification to their citizens.

READ ALSO: I Have Received Requests To Remove Emir Sanusi, Says Ganduje

She noted that the move is necessary to enable the service to facilitate and fast-track their registration in the ongoing e-registration of migrants residing in the country.

According to her, the Ghanaian envoy asked for a possible extension of time for migrants from the West African country to participate in the exercise.

Speaking further, she revealed that about 500 Ghanaians residing in Ogun State have been registered from the total number of about 9,000.

The comptroller said the command’s target was to register 20,000 foreigners before the January deadline.

Immigration To Capture Foreigners’ Data At Airports, Says Babandede

NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, speaks in Abuja on September 6, 2019. Photo – Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is giving a 90-day period for illegal migrants to register with the service or get sanctioned.

The Comptroller General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, gave the warning on Friday at the Service’s headquarters in Abuja.

He asked those who are non-citizens in the country to take advantage of the amnesty programme and get captured in the e-Migrant Policy launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 12.

READ ALSO: Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

Babandede disclosed that the NIS has put in place some measures to identify foreigners and tackle illegal immigration in the country.

He said airports would henceforth capture biometrics of foreigners in order to compile a comprehensive database of those who come in and out of the country.

According to the NIS boss, the free e-registration process is currently ongoing in five states of the Federation.

He added that the Immigration has successfully registered over 4,000 migrants between July and September 2019.

Babandede explained that the registration of foreigners was aimed at promoting security in the country while the 90-day amnesty programme would lapse on January 11, 2020.

On August 26, the NIS boss had said that the Federal Government would not hesitate to kick out anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ended.

He noted that President Buhari saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country, saying it would help the government make good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.

“After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.

“This amnesty, once it ends, we will remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” Babandede had said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

FG Directs Foreigners To Sign Up For E-Registration   

Foreigners doing NIS registration
Screenshot from a video of a foreigner doing e-registration in Rivers State PHOTO/Channels TV

             

The Federal Government has directed all foreigners resident in Nigeria to sign up for the migrant e-registration programme.

The e-registration exercise requires all foreign nationals to capture their biometric information within 90 days of entering the country.

Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Alfa in an address on Friday in Ikeja, Lagos said this has become necessary following the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari.


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“The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed that all foreigners in the country go to the registration centers and do the e-registration.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari has therefore granted amnesty to all illegal migrants in the country “but he went further to state that any migrants who fail to comply will be declared as illegal migrant and sanctioned.”

The purpose of this initiative is to enhance national security and improve internal monitoring and record-keeping as this information will be linked with national identity eco-system to generate a unique number that will eventually connect to all identity system in Nigeria.

The migrant e-registration is scheduled to last for six months and close in December 2019. Any foreign national who fails to register within the prescribed period will be declared as an illegal immigrant

The e-registration process was launched in July 2019 and requires every foreign national residing in Nigeria to register with the Nigerian Immigration Service by 12 January 2020.

Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

(FILE) Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaks during an interview with Channels Television.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned visitors staying in the country to take advantage of the e-migrant policy to register their status.

According to it, the Federal Government will not hesitate to kick out anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ends in January 2020.

The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.

“Any person who is not a citizen of Nigeria must register under the amnesty programme,” he said on Monday via Skype on Sunrise Daily.

The Immigration boss warned, “After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.”

“Before you provide accommodation for a non-Nigerian, you must ensure he or she has registered.

“This amnesty, once it ends, will also remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” he added.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 25 Suspected Cultists In Lagos

According to him, President Muhammadu saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country.

He explained that having correct data and knowing those staying in Nigeria would help the government in making good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.

“That’s why he (Buhari) gave an amnesty when he launched the e-Migrant Policy on the 12th of July and will expire on the 11th of January, 2020,” the NIS Comptroller-General noted.

He added, “This registration has started and was flagged off in Abuja and surprisingly, almost 35% of those who registered were staying irregularly. So when they register, we direct them to become normal if they are qualified to become normalised.

“All persons are expected to register if they enter Nigeria and stay for a period exceeding 90 days. It is biometric and we are also capturing the picture of the said individual.

“We are linking the registration with NIMC gradually which means one identity for Nigerian, one identity for our visitors.”

The Immigration boss stated that the Service would partner with other law enforcement agencies to remove unregistered persons by the end of the programme next year.

According to him, what Nigerians are doing abroad is connected with identity issue and every person staying in Nigeria will have one identification number.