Posted by By Kayode Ogunbunmi on
POSSIBLY unaware that their travel documents has been rendered invalid, hundreds of Nigerians might still be carrying passports.....
POSSIBLY unaware that their travel documents has been rendered invalid, hundreds of Nigerians might still be carrying passports that the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has cancelled.
Recently, some such unlucky Nigerians have had their foreign trips terminated when immigration officials in those countries seized their 'fake' passports and promptly deported them.
Reports said some staff of a multinational oil company got some of the invalidated passports and they, including their family were detained, refused entry into Netherlands and later deported to Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer for the NIS, Ekpedeme King, confirmed that some passports had been cancelled and that the service has circulated the list of the cancelled passports to foreign governments. He however denied taking Nigerians for granted, saying the list is also online on the service's website.
Listed on the website, as passports cancelled, effective from 2005, is a list that is 69 long. "This list will be updated regularly," the service promises.
King said the cancellation exercise is a continuous one. He however listed reasons why the NIS cancels passports, including the need to render a batch of stolen passports invalid.
"The passport is a vital document and it should not pass through the hand of third parties," he said, "as it might be tampered with by them."
"The Nigerian standard passport is not issued by proxy. All applicants must appear in person before the passport control officer so that their image is recorded on our machine. If you don't, then you are running the risk of procuring bad passports."
He said there are cases of stolen passports booklets, which are used by unscrupulous immigration officers. Any passport produced from these booklets is not genuine.
King said, although the service sent the list to foreign immigration agencies, the list is also posted on its website.
"We are telling Nigerians that we don't issue passports by proxy. So, if you get your passport by proxy, you are running the risk of holding a dud passport," he said.
Below is a list of the cancelled passports:
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