Officials of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Osun State Command, have arrested two Togolese citizens for illegally being in possession of Nigeria Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs).
They were nabbed while attempting to secure Nigeria’s National Identity Card.
The officials of NIS who were attached to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Osogbo made the arrest
Briefing newsmen on the development, the Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service Osun State Command, Mr. Idowu Adebowale, told newsmen that the two foreigners and others currently at large were apprehended by his men attached to the office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
He explained that the two foreigners were allegedly accompanied by one individual simply identified as Jay Jay to the office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Osogbo when they were sighted by men of the NIS.
According to Adebowale, “the duo wanted to use the PVCs to open bank accounts, an act unknown to them as unlawful.
They were apprehended on Monday when one of them called Jay Jay came with two others to NIMC office in Osogbo. The Immigration officer detected that they were not behaving like Nigerians which led to further interrogation. They were able to say the truth that they are Togolese, but have been living in Nigeria.”
While stating that the suspects were five, the immigration boss said his command was still on the trail of others who have escaped.
Adebowale, however, cautioned financial institutions, educational institutions and other relevant agencies to be wary of some foreigners, who may want to use illegally means to obtain Nigerian documents for transactions in banks and other public institutions.
The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Osun state command explained that the purpose of posting Immigration officers to all NIMC offices across the state is to do thorough investigation and proper identification of every applicant of the National Identity Card so as to nip the menace of identity theft and other related offenses in the bud.
He maintained that it is illegal and unacceptable for a non-Nigerian to be issued sensitive documents meant for Nigeria citizens and urged people of the state and Nigeria at large to always enlighten the ECOWAS nationals in their communities on the legal implications being in possession of Nigeria documents.
Idowu disclosed that the service will intensify efforts to ensure that documents such as the Nigeria E-Passport, PVC, NIN card and other sensitive papers meant solely for the citizens of Nigeria were not issued to foreigners at all.
According to him, the law will take its course on the arrested Togolese when the service concludes investigations on their offenses.
One of the arrested suspects, identified as Jide Ayo, who is 35 years old, bearing Aziku Jay Jay on his voter’s card claimed that he was born in Ede, explaining that he was given the PVC when he wanted to vote during past election.
He said that “I was given voters card when I wanted to vote. I took my friend to where I collected it when he wanted to save money in bank and the bank requested for it. We don’t know that it was a crime for foreigners to collect it. We were born in Ede, Osun State. Our parents are Togolese, we have been living in Osun State since our birth and we also bear Yoruba name.