Firm tackles immigration corruption
The managing partner Of Prince Joel and Associates, an indigenous law firm, Prince William-Joel has said there is need to tackle corruption in the immigration parastatal and travelling agencies in Nigeria in order to eliminate all forms of mishaps relating to immigration .
According to him, most Nigerians are denied visa or restricted at the point of entry into foreign countries because they consulted roadside agents who have no valid knowledge of the immigration policies and requirements in foreign countries, hence they mislead prospective immigrants.
He said the need for professionals to address anomalies in order to resolve immigration challenges is why his law firm in partnership with immigration attorneys based in UK, US and others, unveils Immigration Clinic (IMC) for member of the public to assess their applications and attend to the several challenges and difficulties arising from visa applications.
“We entered a strategic collaboration with two seasoned attorneys and immigration experts based abroad, Nedum Ejiogu and Charles Ejiogu, vide a tripartite memorandum of understanding to sought inter alia, in order to address immigration-related issues in Nigeria.
“Immigration should be handled by law professionals who know the pros and cons of foreign policies, not illiterate roadside agents who assume the role of travelling agency to make ends meat hereby extorting immigrants.
“IMC was initiated to discourage the patronage of touts in immigration related services especially VISA applications.
“The clinic is our own way of giving back to the society at little or no cause practical information on Immigration Activities” he said.
The Immigration Clinic which is scheduled for every Thursday at his law firm, 5a Dozek Close, Chevron Drive in Lekki Lagos, will address all category of visa applicants and those who want to export products overseas.
Information revealed that on a weekly basis, about 500 to 1million visa applications are processed and less than 40% are successful whilst about 60% are refused, thus, capital flight lost through this non refundable visa application fees which approximately run into billions of Naira in a fiscal year, in addition to the money lost to visa racketeering and unreasonable fees paid to miscreant agents.
In his remark, Michael Damiari, Immigration Attorney and Head of Chambers, Prince Joel and Associates said: “IMC session is an antidote to immigration touting and corruption, as it would impact knowledge to people about simple immigration requirements.
“Records have proven that several unemployed intended emigrants’ uses some touts and miscreants under the guise that they are travel agents to apply for visa for them.
“This set of people have resorted to several forged documents including bank statements, employments letters, and other forged documents at their disposal.
“This amongst other reasons has added to the numbers of refused applications” he said.
Speaking, Idowu Lawal, Immigration Attorney, Prince Joel and Associates, there are over 90,000 visa applicants in Abuja and Lagos respectively, at US embassy, and majority of them are unemployed graduates who are desperate to leave the country and thus, fall into the hands of miscreants.