The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has vowed to probe allegations of bribery and extortion which were raised against its officials, following a BusinessDay’s undercover investigation.
Sunday James, the Public Relation Officer of the NIS said this in a statement on Friday.
BusinessDay had on Thursday published a report detailing how illegal migrants were infiltrating Nigeria through Sokoto, with just N200 bribe per immigration checkpoint.
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.
According to James, the Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, 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.
He, however, commended the reporter for taking his time to carry out the investigation and urged Nigerians to report cases of extortion or any form of illegalities around the borders.
See the statement below:
The attention of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has been drawn to an online publication of 9/1/2020 by BusinessDay titled: UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION: With Just N200 Bribe Per Immigration Checkpoint, Illegal Migrants Are Infiltrating Nigeria Through Sokoto.
According to the report, NIS.” officials positioned at patrol checkpoints on various Nigerian highways has indirectly ‘legalised’ illegal migration with their cash-for-pass attitudes”.
NIS however, debunked such allegations of corrupt practices levelled against the Service, saying the service would never be part of such acts.
The CGI directed that the reporter be commended for taking his time to go round the areas he mentioned in his report and assured that the alleged acts will be investigated, the pace of progress and continual giant strides being daily recorded by the Service is also worthy of commendation, wherein the Service windows, SERVICOM was emplaced, transparency, honesty, accountability and due process were part of the key elements of the service which should also be reported.
The service is doing everything legal and possible within its scope to protect our borders and ensure national security.
It is pertinent to note that the NIS under the leadership of Muhammad Babandede MFR, is doing everything possible to rid the system of all bad eggs who are giving the Service a bad name.
Also conscious of the existence of irregular migrants in the country, the service commenced e- registration of migrants into the country and had given a dateline of January 2020 in line with the six(6) months amnesty period given by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 12th July 2019 for all non-Nigerians residing in Nigeria to be registered, the NIS will continue the registration process as part of Internal control mechanism.
According to the CGI, the service will never join hands with such perpetrators nor allow the good works of the service to be destroyed by some unscrupulous elements painting the service black.
The service had recorded successes in border control and migration management at various commands across the country, hence would not relent on its effort.
According to Babandede, No fewer than 80,000 migrants have been registered in the migrants e-registration datàbase 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 migrant’s data would also assist the government in sociopolitical and National Demographic growth plans”.
“On the 23rd of November 2019, NIS arrested a suspected human trafficker with five female victims en route Niger Republic to Europe.
“37 under age(Minor kids) intercepted and repatriated by our diligent officers at Dankama on the 26th of November,2019.
“On December 2, 2019, Operatives of the NIS border control at Kongolam Katsina State, arrested 28 persons who were being smuggled out of the country.
Considering the gravity of the accusation, the Comptroller General of Immigration has ordered that a comprehensive investigation into the allegation be carried out and the recommendations immediately forwarded to his office for appropriate action
”The service is going to investigate the authenticity of the purported video and fish out the unscrupulous elements. NIS will not tolerate any act that is capable of tarnishing the image and purpose of establishing the service, as well the sacrifices of many patriotic officers and men who have put in their very best to attain the present height and 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”
Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation, the CGI wishes to assure members of the public that if any personnel is found to have been involved in the ignoble act, the culprit(s) will face the consequences, as prescribed by the law.
He further stressed that the mode of discipline and integrity required of every personnel of NIS in Nigeria will not be compromised under any circumstance.
The service is encouraging well-meaning Nigerians to report cases of extortions or any form of illegalities around the borders, as NIS will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against such officials.
The service, however, remains committed to ensuring the safety of our borders. DCI Sunday James PCC, Service
Public Relations Officer, For the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service. 10th January 2020.