Bribery allegation: Immigration to probe operatives

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Following a report that operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service accept bribes at immigration checkpoint along the country’s borders the NIS said it is set to investigate the allegation.

The Public Relations Officer of NIS, Sunday James, revealed this in a statement in Abuja.

An online media had alleged that “with just N200 bribe per immigration checkpoint, illegal migrants were infiltrating Nigeria through Sokoto”.

The report had alleged that NIS officials at patrol checkpoints on various Nigerian highways have indirectly ‘legalised’ illegal migration with their cash-for-pass attitudes.

James said the Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), Muhammad Babandede, had assured that the alleged acts would be investigated.

“Considering the gravity of the accusation, the CGI has ordered that a comprehensive investigation into the allegation be carried out and the recommendations immediately forwarded to his office for immediate action,” he said.

James said the progress made by the service was worthy of commendation.

“We are yet to attain the peak and standard we are projecting to take the service as an elite service serving the greater majority of the country’s elites and the international communities.

“It is pertinent to note that the NIS, under the leadership of Muhammad Babandede, is doing everything possible to rid the system of bad eggs who are giving the service bad name,” he said.

James said the service would never join hands with perpetrators and allowed the good work of the service be destroyed by some unscrupulous elements painting the service bad.

He said that the service would not relent on its effort, having recorded achievements on border control and migration management at various commands across the country.

“Conscious of the existence of irregular migrants in the country, the service commenced e-registration of migrants into the country after President Muhammadu Buhari had given a deadline of January 2020 in line with the six months.

“No fewer than 80,000 migrants have been registered in the migrants e-registration database since its inception in July.

“45,000 were irregular migrants representing 66 per cent of the total number of migrants registered, adding that 35,000 representing 34 per cent were regular migrants.

“The objective of the migrants’ e-registration was to afford the Nigerian government the opportunity to know precisely the total number of migrants’ residents in the country as well as their status.

“The migrants’ data would also assist the government in sociopolitical and National demographic growth plans,” he said.

James said that the service would investigate the authenticity of the video and fish out the unwanted elements.

“Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation, the CGI wishes to assure members of the public that if any personnel are found to have been involved in the ignoble act, the culprit(s) will face the consequences as prescribed by the law,” he said.

He advised well-meaning Nigerians to report cases of extortion or any form of illegalities around the borders, as NIS would not hesitate to take appropriate actions against such officials.

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