Abuja, [December 5, 2023] — Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre, WAMAC, an anti-corruption crusader, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital has taken note of the directive for a comprehensive investigation into allegations of passport racketeering involving personnel within the service, specifically in the South East region.
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mrs. Caroline Adepoju, gave this directive in an official press statement, conveyed by Deputy Comptroller of Immigration Adedotun Aridegbe, the Service Public Relations Officer, based in Abuja.
This inquiry comes after an in-depth investigation conducted by Dream FM, a partner radio station of WAMAC, on an anti-corruption program titled “Korokoro Eye.” The series delved into numerous complaints of extortion and corruption lodged by applicants seeking the Nigerian Passport in Enugu.
Aired on the 25th of August and 1st of September 2023, the program featured applicants who lamented being subjected to exorbitant fees exceeding the officially approved government rates by Immigration officers.
Additionally, the collaborative efforts between WAMAC and Dream FM, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation brought to light the preferential treatment accorded to applicants filling forms in passport offices, sidelining the online application process. This resulted in the frustration of applicants making multiple visits to the Immigration passport office before having their biometrics captured due to insufficient attention to online submissions.
Korokoro Eye’s investigations further uncovered the complicity of certain NIS Enugu office staff in corrupt practices, offering applicants the option to expedite the process in exchange for additional payments.
This report is part of a series of investigative exposés on corruption by Dream FM, supported by Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
WAMAC commends the leadership of the Nigeria Immigration Service for taking action in ordering an investigation into the alleged passport racketeering involving personnel in its Enugu office. Nevertheless, we earnestly call for an expeditious and thorough inquiry, ensuring that those found in violation face the full force of the law, without any exemptions.
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