A retired Assistant Comptroller-General of Immigration, Alhaji Abdulmumini Abdulmalik, on Tuesday exonerated heads of the Nigeria Immigration Service in the stampede which killed some applicants on Saturday .
AbdulMalik made this observation in Ilorin, Kwara State while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday. According to him, the whole exercise emanated from the supervising Ministry of Interior where the advertisement on the recruitment exercise emanated.
He noted that the recruitment exercise was even handed over to a consultancy firm, the decision which he said was risky and untenable and can never be tolerated by security outfits such as the military which equally has a supervising ministry.
The retired immigration oss noted that the exercise should not have been conducted in one day to avoid the deaths that occurred. AbdulMalik stressed the need to review the role of the supervising ministry in the areas of recruitments and deployments.
He described the loss of lives during the screening as sad and regrettable and condoled the families of applicants who lost their lives in the incidents.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service, Kwara State Command, on Tuesday disclosed it has aprehended nine illegal immigrants for coming to Nigeria without valid documents. The NIS Comptroller, Kwara State Command, Mr. Ahamefule Nwachukwu said the illegal immigrants were from Niger Republic.
Nwachukwu told journalists while parading the nine illegal immigrants that they were rounded up at Tanke Area of Ilorin metropolis following a tip off that the Nigeriens were brought to the spot by a trailer. He added that arrangements have been made to repatriate them to their country immediately.
The Comptroller said his proactive step was informed by the fact that they could pose security challenge as they have no travel documents. He added that investigations have shown that they came into the country and to Kwara State through illegal routes.
Nwachukwu further disclosed that investigations showed the illegal immigrants did not have national travel documents to show that they were travellers from Niger. According to the comptroller, the illegal aliens identified themselves as Nigeriens on interrogation. “If they were to have normal travelling documents, we will receive them as ECOWAS citizens who have the right of free movement”, he said.
The Comptroller added that the illegal immigrants were unwanted elements since they did not have proper identification. “If they do not appear to be unwanted elements, they would have proper identification. Since they do not have proper identification, they could constitute security risk”, he added.
One of the illegal immigrants who identified himself as Isiaka said they came to Nigeria to do menial jobs like loading of cement and other related works in the country. He denied any motive to constitute security threat, but added that they were just unfortunate as their travel documents had just expired.