Immigration arrests foreigners with Nigeria’s voter’s cards, others
AS Nigerians struggle to collect their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has intercepted and seized various security identification items from non-Nigerians.
The Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Chukwuemeka Obua, in a statement yesterday in Abuja said the Comptroller General, David Parradang, “announced the seizure of some voter’s and national identity cards from some foreigners in a renewed crackdown on irregular migrants across the country ahead of the forthcoming general elections.”
The statement indicates that among the seized items said to be in the custody of the service are 191 PVCs, 57 temporary voter’s cards, 367 old national identity cards, 68 new national identity cards and 11 old temporary identity card slips.
Other items recovered includes 10 Nigerian birth certificates, six Gada Local Government tax cards, three NIS registration certificates, two driver’s license and one (1) each of Nigerian Army identity card for occupants in the barracks, primary school certificate and data page of Nigeria passport.
Obua, in a chat with The Guardian, said the identity of the irregular migrants and their countries of origin are still being withheld until investigations are completed, but “so far, none of those apprehended with the said security items has the right to have them. This is because one has to be a citizen of Nigeria to be in possession of some of the items, and where the privilege of being conferred with citizenship is not extended to you by the president and commander in chief, you do not have the right as a foreigner to possess the national identity card, for instance”, the assistant comptroller said.
He noted that the elections in Nigeria needs to be safeguarded the best way possible, just as the Immigration Service is carrying out her responsibilities to ensure that those with criminal tendencies don’t get into the country through the borders, and has continued to mop up these elements from across the country, which has resulted in the feat recorded so far.
According to the NIS, the “vital security documents were recovered in Sokoto, Jigawa and Zamfara states following an ongoing nation-wide mop-up operation against irregular migrants ahead of the forthcoming general elections”.