by Ifeanyi Okolie
Lagos State Command of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, weekend, said it had arrested four foreigners for attempting to illegally obtain the Standard Nigeria International Passport.
Three of their facilitators were equally arrested.
The foreigners, said to be citizens of the Republic of Cameroon and Ghana, were arrested at the Nigeria Immigration Passport Offices at Festac and Ikoyi.
Giving details on how they were arrested, Comptroller NIS, Lagos State Command, Suleiman Ahmed, said one of the suspects, Mbewon Oumaron, a Cameroonian, had succeeded in obtaining five Nigerian passports for himself, his wife and three children from Festac passport office before he was arrested.
According to him, “the Cameroonian had gone to our Festac office on June 21, 2011, through the aid of his Nigerian facilitators, obtained four Nigerian passports for his wife and children.
“In the process of acquiring for himself, he was caught by our officials who became uncomforta-ble with the information he provided to them.
“One Iyaho Vincent from Ghana was also arrested at Festac office. On his part, he claimed he was Idowu Vincent, from Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos.
“However, in the process of acquiring the passport, it was detected that he was not a Nigerian, and was arrested. Two other Ghanaians, Frank Asare, Elvis Asare and their Nigeria facilitators, were also arrested at Ikoyi Passport office while attempting to acquire Nigerian passport.”
The Comptroller urged foreigners residing in Nigeria who intended to carry the Nigerian Passport to go through the proper process.
“The Nigeria Passport is for Nigerian Citizens not for foreigners in Nigeria. Any foreigner who fancy the Nigeria passport should formally apply for Nigeria Citizenship, which remains the only possible means of earning the Nigerian passport as foreigner, anything short of that would contradict the Nigeria Passport Miscellaneous Act, which would attract prosecution . The arrested foreigners and their facilitators would be prosecuted accordingly to the laws.”