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Rapid Passport: 80 Officers On Trial For Extortion, 8 Others Dismissed – NIS 



What Nigerian passport applicants went through in 2021

… Engages traditional rulers to curb transborder crimes

No fewer than 80 officers and men of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have gone on trial for indulging in the collection of illegal fees for the issuance of new passports and renewal of old ones.

The Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Tony Akuneme, who disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja, also indicated that eight other officers have been dismissed from service for the same offence in the last year.

He said the disciplinary measures under the passport reform, were part of the three-point agenda of the present Comptroller General (CG), NIS, Isah Jere, when he came on board.

Akuneme also said that the CG’s three-point agenda includes reforming passport issuance, tightening border security, and improving the welfare of NIS officers.

According to him, Jere has done this to the best of his ability in the last year plus, and that is what has led to most applicants booking online for passports.

“We have tried as much as possible to eliminate third parties so that if you really want, you can process the application of your passport from the comfort of your room on your laptop, android phones and you can pay online.

“You don’t really need anybody whether immigration officers or agents which we usually call touts. They have upgraded and become agents. They are still third parties.

“The problem we have is the use of third parties because no matter how much reform you put in, you will always see a learned and civilised person using a third party to process his or her application.

“And one thing they don’t understand is that third parties don’t have an idea of the information entered into your application. This can result in somebody having issues with his/her National Identification Number (NIN),” he said.

The NIS spokesman said that the CG has vowed to discipline officers who go out of their way to try to either engage or sabotage the reform process.

“We have continued to punish NIS officers and men who try to assist people for a fee. You can assist people genuinely but not extort from them.

“We are committed to curbing corruption and other illicit acts in the service. You will appreciate the fact that if nothing else, the level of awareness has increased in the last few months.

“Don’t patronise agents, fill your forms yourself. We have officers watching and these agents know they are being watched. When they take money from you, tell us. If we don’t take action, tell the world,” he said. 

In another development, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) says the agency is engaging traditional rulers in various states to curb transborder crimes across the country.

The Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO) Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Tony Akuneme, disclosed this also on Sunday in Abuja.

Akuneme said that Nigeria had extensive borders, adding that It was necessary to deploy manpower and technology.

He said that the service had deployed MIDAS technology, saying it was used in monitoring what was going on at the borders.

He added that at least MIDAS was powered by foreign countries helping NIS to ensure that the borders were tight and in control.

According to him, NIS has taken a step further to visit traditional rulers in the border communities so as not to engage in transborder crimes.

“We have visited a couple of the Obas (Alake of Egba in Ogun, Shehu of Borno among others) and the idea is to engage the border communities to make them know they have a stake in securing these borders.

”So for me it’s an extra mile, apart from the regular policing of the borders by officers, we have also gone into Public Relations and then enlightenment.

“This is so, just to make sure that people don’t think it’s not their business but that everybody is involved in the issue of securing our borders,” he said.

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50 Baptist Church Members Killed In Plateau Attacks, 500 Members Displaced– Official



At least, 50 members of the Baptist Church, including a pastor, were killed in bandits’ recent attacks in Mangu and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau State,  Rev. Keoleh Saleh, the President of the Baptist Conference has revealed.

Saleh disclosed this on Sunday in Jos, adding that over 500 of its members were also displaced.

”This unfortunate carnage affected the Baptist Church seriously; In Kantoma where we have a big church, we lost over 31 members, including a Moderator.

” Twenty-three women were made widows on account of the attack. We lost nine members in Jwak Maitumbi and a member in Kombili.

”Most of our members displaced in over 10 local churches are taking refuge in different places.

”We have located four centres in Jos metropolis where a family is hosting between 10 to 20 people, and we have over 200 displaced persons in Jos.

”We have 50 in Barkin Ladi, over 200 in Salama Baptist Church in Mangu and 78 others that included 44 little children at Bwarak, Pankshin,” he said.

Saleh explained that in the last one week, the church spent over N3 million to cater to the needs of its displaced members taking refuge in its various local churches.

”Within one week, we have spent about N2m to get relief materials, but this is not enough, and our Baptist partners assisted us with N1m to make it N3m. But it is still not enough. We provided foodstuffs, clothing, shoes, mats, blankets and other items,” he said.

Book church logo design icon. Bible Church logo design vector. Cross and Holy Bible logo.

Rev. Israel Akanji, the National President of the Nigeria Baptist Convention, who visited the displaced members, offered prayers and financial assistance to the victims of the attacks.

He called on government and security agencies to intensify efforts toward bringing succour to the victims and finding lasting solutions to the spate of killings in the state and nation at large.

”This is a farming season, and the government should think of returning these people to go to their farms.

”Whatever we are doing now will not be forever, government should wake up to its responsibility and ensure a safe place for these people to return to their farms,” he said.

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NDLEA Intercepts Explosives Enroute Bandits Camp In Niger



NDLEA arrests India-bound businessman with 9.40kg heroin in Lagos

…Seizes 2.654 Kg Of Drugs, Arrests 26 Suspects In Gombe***

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has intercepted a consignment of 32 pieces of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), on its way to bandits’ camp in Niger.

The Director, of Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, of NDLEA, retired, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect, Musa Muhammadu caught with the explosives on Monday, May 22 on Wawa Road, Kainji, Niger to the military authorities.
He said that the agency had intensified operations at drug joints and routes nationwide, ahead of the May 29 inauguration of new administrations across the country.
Babafemi said that operatives of the agency at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International (MMIA) Airport Ikeja Lagos, also intercepted a consignment of 30.10kg methamphetamine.
He said that the consignment was billed to London.
He added that another shipment containing 379 grams of the same illicit substance concealed in the false bottom of six black soap containers was recovered.
Babafemi said that the drugs were packed in a carton containing local hand fans, heading to Cyprus in Europe.
He also said that the officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI), of the agency carried out the operation in a courier company in Lagos.
Also, in Adamawa operatives on stop and search patrol on Michika- Bazza Road on Friday, May 26 arrested a Cameroonian, Ndawai Ngalou with a pair of Nigerian Army camouflage uniforms bearing Sunday U and two ATM cards belonging to Turaki Mohammed and Ekene Izuegunam.

In another development, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Gombe State has seized 2,654 kilogrammes of illicit drugs and arrested 26 suspected drug dealers.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Okechukwu Nkere, the Commander of the Agency on Sunday in Gombe.

He said: “NDLEA Gombe State Command embarks on a mop-up operation bursts various drug joints and black spots in the state, arrests 26 drug suspects and seize a total of 2,654kgs of drugs”.

Chidiebere: NDLEA Arrests Lekki Businessman Over Illicit Cargo From US

According to him, the mop-up operation is part of preparations for the May 29 inauguration of the new administration in the state.

Nkere said the seized drugs included 2.570kgs of Cannabis Sativa and 84 grammes of psychotropic substances, bringing the total seizure to 2.654kgs.

He warned drug peddlers to desist from the act or face the wrath of the law.

“We will ensure that we go into nook and crannies of the state to fish out perpetrators.

“We will also raid and dislodge drug joints across the state at different locations to ensure the state becomes drug-free,” he said.

The exercise, he said, would be sustained beyond the handover ceremonies to make the state free of drug abuse.

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Lagos Police Arrest 2 Yoruba Nation Agitators; 5 In Ibadan, Recover Weapons



…Akintoye condemns invasion of Ibadan radio station, disowns perpetrators***

The Police Command in Lagos State has arrested two Yoruba Nation agitators in the Alausa area of the state, and recovered charms and weapons from them.

Spokesperson for the command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the arrest in a statement on Sunday, said that the agitators stormed a police station in the early hours of Sunday.

“The agitators, numbering 15, stormed Alausa Police Division at about 5:35 a.m. today, chanting, ‘Yoruba Nation has taken over,’ and injured some police officers who attempted to disperse them.

“Two of the agitators were arrested while the rest took to their heels following the prompt and coordinated response of the police.

“The suspects, who were arrested with charms, dangerous weapons and different offensive insignias bearing Yoruba Nation Army,  stormed Alausa Division along with others at about the same time another group was attempting to take over a radio station in Ibadan, Oyo State.

“They claimed they came to officially inform the police that the United Nations had granted approval for the take off of Yoruba Nation,” he said.

He said that the arrested suspects are currently assisting the police in the ongoing investigation into the subversive plans of the group.

“The suspect are assisting the police while their network of sponsors will soon be unveiled and brought to justice in the overriding internal security interest of the State,” he said.

The police image-maker said that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, has warned subversive elements to steer clear of the state or face the wrath of the law.

“The command is fully ready and has the strong will and operational orientation to bring the full weight of the law to bear on them or on any other elements that might attempt to disrupt the stable security order in Lagos.

“While working in synergy with other security agencies, the command has maximally deployed its intelligence, human and operational assets across the length and breadth of the state.

“The command will effectively suppress any ill-advised persons or groups under any nomenclature who might be attempting to test the will of law enforcement operatives of the command before, during and after the May 29, 2023, inauguration,” he said.

According to him, Owohunwa appreciates the good people of the state for their unrelenting cooperation with the police.

Hundeyin said that the CP has urged residents to continue to manifest their patriotism by promptly reaching out to the police or the nearest security agency whenever the need arises.

In the meantime, Prof. Banji Akintoye, the founder and leader of the Yoruba group, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, has condemned the invasion of a radio station in Ibadan by the Yoruba separatist group.

This is contained in a statement signed by Akintoye’s Assistant Director of Programmes, Olatunde Amusat, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan.

The separatist group on Sunday, invaded the premises of Amuludun 99.1 FM in Moniya, a community radio of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), around 6.00 am.i

Five of the agitators were arrested by security agents and paraded by the Nigeria Police Force on Sunday.

Akintoye disowned the group, describing their action as lawless and profoundly criminal.

“Our attention has been drawn to the activities of a group led by a Woman, who claimed to be running a totally different agenda for Yoruba emancipation.

“The group has been engaging again and again in criminal activities. The group has been warned repeatedly, but has refused to change,” he said.

He said that the Yoruba group he is leading runs a struggle that is totally peaceful and law abiding.

According to him, “we have written a 34-page manual to guide our followers and all Yoruba people about peaceful and law-abiding, self-determination struggle.

“We have written the outgoing President of Nigeria and UN Secretary-General about our legitimate demand for self determination for our Yoruba nation.

“We have emphasised in everyone of those letters that our struggle is peaceful and law abiding.”

Akintoye said his group has no relationship whatsoever with the group that has repeatedly engaged in crime, adding “we have no hands in their criminal conduct.”

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