FG orders arrest of ex-officials over diplomatic passports

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja 

The Federal Government has ordered the arrest of all former governors, ministers, politicians and retired public servants who failed to return official/diplomatic passports in their possession after leaving office. 

Giving the order on Tuesday was the Comptroller General, (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede in Abuja at his maiden meeting with top management officers of the service. 

Babandede said the service has so far retrieved about 158 diplomatic passports and 310 of passports. 

He said the service has also placed a ban on petition writting by the officers, saying an avenue will be created monthly to hear views of aggrieved officers without being punished for such views. 

He also warned officers to desist from extorting money from passport applicants and at various borders/check points across the country. 

“I express my appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for my appointment to lead the NIS at this critical time of our national development. 

“In view of the earlier publication for return of official /diplomatic passports by former political office holders and retired public servants, it must be noted that charges will be press against unauthorised holders of such documents. 

“This is because, such persons are no longer in the eligibility list and therefore in contradiction of S.10 of the extant Immigration Act 2015. 

“I am hereby directing that unauthorised holders of such passports be arrested at the Airports and other points of entry/departure. Efforts will be made also to trace such unauthorised holders in their given addresses.” 

While expressing disapointment on the activities of some officers he described as “heartless officers who are setting up illegal check points to extort Nigerians,” Babandede said he will hold the zonal controllers and state command responsible for such act henceforth. 

Babandede who said the service under him must stop rendering service like native doctors, said: “I am setting up an anti-corruption squad, but before this I will hold the zonal coordinators and comptrollers responsible.

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