by Oke Efagene
About 24 illegal immigrants have been arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), at Tamaje village in Sabon-Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
Yunusa Aliyu, the NIS Comptroller in Sokoto, spoke on the arrest yesterday, when he presented the suspects to newsmen in Sokoto.
The NIS also inaugurated a Nigeria/Cameroon border administrative control post in Belel, Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State, yesterday.
The Assistant Comptroller-General, ACG, of the service in charge of Zone “C”, Nuhu Abba,, commended the border communities for their sustained support and cooperation to the service.
However, the Sokoto State Comptroller, Aliyu said the immigrants entered the country from Niger Republic without valid travel documents.
He said the suspects were arrested Thursday when they were travelling to Warri, Port Harcourt, and Onitsha.
“All the 24 suspects, all males of varying ages, were from different parts of the neighbouring Niger Republic and they were travelling without any valid travel documents.
“The existing international protocol does not prohibit the citizens of other countries from entering other countries, but it must be done with valid travel documents,” he said.
Aliyu said the suspects would be repatriated to their country on Friday, adding that four others with valid documents had been released.
“Forty three other suspects escaped from the four buses they were travelling in when they were intercepted by our officers.
“The Nigerian drivers of the four buses, which had been impounded by the service, would also be prosecuted for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants,” Aliyu said.
The Comptroller, who decried the porosity of Nigeria’s borders, promised that the NIS would continue to be diligent in the discharge of its duties.
“The carrot and stick reward system is also still in force in the service, to reward hard work and punish indolence,” Aliyu said.
Meanwhile, Abba said in Adamawa that NIS was excited about the cordial relationship between it’s officials and border communities and urged for its sustenance.