The Comptroller-General (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Isah Idris, has ordered an investigation into a case of extortion allegedly perpetrated by officers of the Service attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to a statement signed late Monday, by the Immigration Boss, and titled, ‘Alleged misconduct at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos’, Idris also ordered “the withdrawal” of the entire shift on duty at the time of the incident.
TheFact Daily gathers that the order followed a recent outcry on Twitter by a Dubai-bound Nigerian, who alleged massive extortion of under-40 Nigerians travelling to the Gulf city.
A Twitter user with the handle name @darbyy, had on October 14, 2022, alleged that she paid the sum of N10,000 to the immigration officers before her passport was stamped despite presenting her UAE visa at the immigration booth.
She also alleged that the extortion scheme is targeted at Nigerians perceived to be below 40 as older travellers do not face such treatment.
“It was then I noticed all the people they had brought to this (separate) aisle were young and going to Dubai. It was all a plan to use fear to exploit us. The couple got their passport stamped after paying. Oga turned to me and said “it’s in your hands. How much do you have?” @darbyy tweeted.
According to her, she was ignored when she initially succumbed and said she had 5,000 naira, and so had to offer N10,000, to which the officer responded, “That your 10k is too small oh, add something”. However, he later beckons to the immigrations officer who had singled her out of the queue, and said, “she wants to transfer 10k”.
“After I had paid, they stamped my passport. Isn’t this crazy??? That someone with a visa had to pay to get their passport stamped?” she lamented.
The Comptroller General in the statement reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance for sharp practices and assured that such would be met with stiff sanctions to any staff found involved.
“The CGI hereby encourages members of the public to feel free to contact the Service through its various public communication channels, including twitter and Facebook handles @nigimmigration to lay complaints and report any misdemeanour by any member of staff for appropriate sanctions”, the statement said.