Former Nigerian public office holders have all been directed to with immediate effect surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.
This directive came through the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), which stated that the instruction was based on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically, the affected officials include: former governors, former ministers, former senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and former members of state Houses of Assembly.
Others are former commissioners, former special advisers/special assistants, former chairmen/deputy chairmen of local government areas, all retired heads of parastatals and retired public servants.
According to NIS, “These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect.”
The service in a statement issued by its Comptroller-General, Martin Abeshi, maintained that, “Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorised possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”
It is recalled that the Federal Government (FG) had on August 24, 2015 directed the NIS to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.
This directive was contained in a statement by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, Yusuf Isiaka, who suggested that, “The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to the fact that some Nigerians who are not entitled to hold diplomatic and official passports are in possession of these documents.”