According to reports, the Comptroller General (CG), of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, on Saturday disclosed that no fewer than a thousand diplomatic passports have been intercepted and seized from former political office holders who failed to handover their passport upon leaving office.
Babandede had in May ordered the arrest of former political office holders and retired public servants who are still in possession of Official/Diplomatic passports, directing officers on duty at the various airports in the country to arrest such persons and hand them over for prosecution.
But addressing select journalists at the NIS Headquarters in Abuja, the CG disclosed that since he handed down the order, many former political office holders have turned in their passports.
“The strategy we have put up for those still holding diplomatic passports is to ensure they don’t cross the border. Passports are meant for travel. So anybody who crosses the border in or out; the passports are intercepted and seized. We have seized over a thousand since that time.
“But what is important is that many political office holders have returned their passports. There are cases we have prosecuted jointly with the ministry of justice, some people who have double diplomatic passports; some people who have passports they have not returned. There are a lot of cases ongoing like this.”
Admitting that Nigerian visas are difficult to get and that resident’s permit takes time to deliver, the Immigrations boss pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari has given the directive that anyone who applies for a Nigeria Immigration facility, must get it on time.