The newly-appointed Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has ordered the immediate arrest of all former political office holders still in possession of their diplomatic passports.
Babandede, who gave the order during his maiden briefing with top management staff of Nigeria Immigration Service yesterday in Abuja, directed officers on duty at various airports to be on the lookout for former ministers, governors, diplomats, National Assembly members, who are still in possession of the document.
He said: “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 pressed against unauthorized holders of such documents.
“This is because, such persons are no longer in the eligibility list and are, therefore, in contravention of Section 10 of the extant Immigration Act, 2015.
“I am, hereby, directing that unauthorized holders of such passports be arrested at the airports and other points of entry/departure. Efforts will be made also to trace such unauthorized holders in their given addresses.”
Babandede further revealed that so far, 158 diplomatic passports and 310 official passports have been retrieved.
The CG, while reading the riot act to personnel, stated that he was aware of monies extorted from passport applicants for selfish motives.
He however warned all immigration officers involved in the dubious act, adding that culprits will be brought to book.
“I am aware of money being extorted from the hands of passport applicants and at various borders/check points in the country. What is happening in the liberated territories in the North East is most disturbing to me.
“Heartless Immigration officers set illegal check points at hinterland to bully and extort money from citizens already devastated by Boko Haram insurgency. I will not accept this Service to be the second grade of Boko Haram.
“I am setting an anti-corruption squad, but before this, I will hold the zonal coordinators and Comptrollers responsible. I do not want your blood money, as organized crime law enforcement called ‘returns’.
‘’We will also do our best to send the limited resources available for operations to avoid operatives funding job with corrupt monies,” he said.