The Nigeria Immigration Service has revoked the passports of all former governors and ministers issued to them during their tenure. The Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said this in a statement on Monday, The Cable reports.
The NIS also instructed former senators, ex-House of Representatives members, ex-special advisers, retired heads of government agencies, former members of state Houses of Assembly and retired public servants to submit their passports.The statement read in part.
“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect.
“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorised possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”
The News Agency had reported on August 24 that the Federal Government had directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.
A senior immigration official who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said the development was part of the reforms being carried out by the new immigration boss.
He said ideally, only governors, the President, the Vice-President and a few other select officials that should ordinarily be entitled to diplomatic passports. He, however, lamented that the passport had been bastardised. He said,
“Ideally, only the President, his deputy, governors, deputy governors, diplomatic officials, ambassadors and a few federal lawmakers should be entitled to diplomatic passports.
“However, many influential Nigerians including top pastors who were close to former President Goodluck Jonathan had diplomatic passports. This should not be so. In fact, state lawmakers and commissioners shouldn’t be entitled to diplomatic passports but the whole thing was abused.”