NiDCOM says embassy did not order arrest of Nigerians in Switzerland
Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on Wednesday denied the claim that the Nigerian embassy in Switzerland ordered the arrest of passport applicants.
NiDCOM’s statement was in reaction to a video in which the narrator claimed that the Nigerian embassy ordered Switzerland police to arrest Nigerians who wanted to renew their passports.
But NiDCOM spokesman Abdulrahman Balogun in a statement said the allegation was not true.
Balogun explained that the embassy was ensuring compliance to existing COVID-19 protocol which only allows officials to attend to 10 applicants per day, which the embassy expanded to 20, spacing out the appointments.
“But on this day, 64 Nigerians besieged the Nigerian mission in Bern. Only 10 of them were on scheduled appointment,” Balogun said. “54 of them had no appointment for that day and had not made the mandatory online payment and majority of the applicants came from Italy and Spain With no appointment with no online payment.
“While the Nigerian Amb. Baba Madagu was addressing them, they barged in through the front door and overcrowded a hall that was meant to receive only 10 people at a time.”
He said the embassy “did not call the police as erroneously stated in the video, but invited the Embassy Protection Unit to bring calm and decorum back to the hall.”
The NiDCOM spokesman stated that men of the embassy protection unit addressed them, and attended to those on appointment and those that made their online payments were attended to.
Balogun said other applicants were advised to follow the due process and assured them that everyone will be attended to as long as the rules were followed.
He appealed to Nigerians abroad to be good ambassadors of Nigeria wherever they are and obey laws put in place.
“The Nigerian mission in Bern is still attending to Nigerians who follow the process, pay online and book their appointments as stipulated,” Balogun said.