Immigration intercepts 6,216 voters cards, ID cards from foreigners


By Palma Ileye

As the 2023 general election gathers momentum, Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Idris Jere Isah has said that Comptrollers would be held liable for any lapses or partisanship involving personnel under their watch.

Jere stated this yesterday during the One-Day 2023 NIS Election Retreat held at its Headquarters in Abuja.

He charged the Comptrollers to re-orientate Officers and Men to exhibit high sense of professionalism to complement the current positive public perceptions of the Service as a result of its ongoing reforms.

Disclosing that the Service has intercepted from non-Nigerians who were unlawfully in possession of a total of Six Thousand Two Hundred and Sixteen National Identity Cards and Voters Cards from various States and border Commands, the CGIS revealed that the siezures include: Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty- three National Identity Cards and Two Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-one Voters with the highest number of confiscation from Kebbi State.

He commended the Service for easing out irregular migrants in the various Commands as a result of various Immigration offences also tasking personnel saying, “This period calls for the highest level of security awareness among all personnel and any acts of compromise shall be treated as sabotage against our national security.

“We are all aware of the importance the Federal Government attach to Election generally and in particular, this 2023 General Election which ends the 8 years tenure of the present Administration and by extension marks 24 years of uninterrupted return to Democracy in our dear Country.

“Needless to remind us that the signing into law of the Electoral Act 2022 by the President last year, led to the release of election time tables by the electoral umpire INEC, which fixed the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 25th February,2023 followed by the Governorships and State Houses of Assembly elections on 11th March, 2023.

“Let me remind us also that the 2022 Electoral Law and indeed the 1999 Constitution as amended place a legal burden on all stakeholders in the electoral process, including INEC, Security Agencies, Political Parties, Local and International observers and the media. I therefore charge all of us to rededicate ourselves to this patriotic duty and go all out to make the NIS proud again.

“Recently were able to intercept non-Nigerians who were unlawfully in possession of voter’s cards and National Identity cards.

“Furthermore, may I also use this opportunity to commend the various Command Comptrollers who eased out irregular migrants in their Commands as a result of various Immigration offences.”

On level of preparedness on the upcoming polls, the NIS noted its regular attendance of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, ICCES, organization by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, in readiness for the 2023 General Election.

The Service stated that personnel have attended Election Security related courses such as; Election Monitoring/Observation Course at JAJI, Kaduna, Workshop on Integration of Election Security into Curricula of Nigeria Security Agencies Training, organized by INEC at Keffi.
INEC Validation Workshop of Election Training Resources for the 2023 General Election
Election management training for security personnel organized by Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre.
The Role of Security women in Election Security INEC National Training of Trainers, ToT, for Election Security Personnel, ESP.

It also noted the establishment of Rapid Response Squad, RRS and Immigration Women Armed Squad, IWAS, in preparation for any contingency of lawlessness during Election as efforts were on top gear to mobilize NIS personnel Border Corps, Border Drill and Border Control Post personnel to secure all entry and exit points before, during and after the election.

“Efforts are on top gear to mobilize NIS personnel (Border Corps, Border Drill and Border Control Post personnel) to secure all our entry and exit points before, during and after Election.

“The NIS have placed personnel on vigilance to ensure only Eligible Citizens of the Federal Republic of NIGERIA participate in the Electoral process.
The NIS has successfully confiscated voter’s cards and national identification cards in the hands of arrested foreigners and have since been repatriated.

“The NIS is on high alert to identify, arrest and prevent foreigners from participating in the election and any possible obstruction of peaceful conduct of the Election process. The NIS has been pro-active in sensitization of Foreigners on the consequence of participating in the Election.
Adequate arrangements are in place for Processing and issuance of visas and clearance of Foreign observers for Election monitoring at all our international Airports.
The NIS is adequately prepared to “Stoplist” any person found contravening Electoral laws,” the NIS further disclosed.