The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has confirmed the arrest of two Nigerians who were alleged to have been involved in the issuance of visa to as well as plans to shelter the wanted ISIS chief, Ahmed Al Assir, who was arrested in Lebanon on his way to Nigeria.
NIS, also denied playing any part in the process that led to the issuance of Nigerian visa to the wanted ISIS chief in Lebanon.
Spokesman of the NIS, King Ekpedeme, a Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, said two men connected to Al Assir, with whom he was supposed to live with in Nigeria, had been arrested in Kano and immediately handed over to the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno (rtd).
The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Martin Abeshi, who debunked any complicity of the Service, while speaking at a news conference in Abuja, said: “From the records available, the Immigration Service did not issue that visa. It might be the officials of the foreign affairs ministry because they also issue visa on our behalf.”
Abeshi, however, said the NIS went into action to arrest those connected to Al Assir immediately it got intelligence report that he was coming to Nigeria.
Said the NIS boss: “When we were told that Al Assir was heading to Nigeria, the people the man was coming to visit were identified by our men. Our officers in Kano went into action and arrested the two of them immediately and handed them over to the National Security Adviser.”
Ekpedeme also confirmed that the comptroller-general has threatened to publish the names of former ministers, governors and members of the National and State Assemblies who are illegally in possession of official and diplomatic passports.
I am advising that those who have not returned these facilities (diplomatic and official passports) should bring them, because very soon, I will publish the names of those who collected official and diplomatic passports.”
He made this statement in Abuja yesterday at a public function.
The NIS boss stated that the passports could also be submitted to comptrollers of the state commands all over the country who have been mandated to collect the documents from the illegal holders.