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COVID-19: 12 foreign nationals denied entry into Nigeria



The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has appealed to travellers to comply with the clearance procedures at the airports to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday James.

The statement stated that NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede, commended the Comptroller of Immigration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, Sadat Hassan, for doing a “wonderful job’’.

It stated that Hassan had helped to installed sanity by operating airtight entry and exit points that had resulted in various arrests.

According to the statement, the outgoing year birthed a global pandemic, COVID-19, that has prompted nations to enforce mandatory lockdowns and border closures.

“NIS, as the lead agency in charge of migration control and border management at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), had to step up personnel protection to insulate them from contracting COVID-19.

“The personnel protection insulate was done through the installation of glass shields that separate the operatives from passengers, use of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizer, among others.

“No fewer than 239,114 outbound and inbound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 15, 2020.; so far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 non-Nigerians departed NAIA, Abuja for various destinations abroad.

“Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590 non-Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review. A total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 repatriated for various criminal and immigration-related offenses.

“In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirements were refused admission and returned,” the statement revealed.

It added that 34 Nigerians, predominantly young ladies, were refused departure for non-compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws.

According to the statement, the young ladies were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 years to 28 years.

It added that their final destination was Dubai, United Arab Emirates and that upon interception, they were profiled for further investigation and later released to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, for rehabilitation.

It said that the change of operational strategy at the NAIA led to the uncovering of the people recruiting and trafficking these ladies via sting operation of the NIS.

According to the statement, six recruiters and traffickers were apprehended with four males and two females, and that the identity of three of the recruiters and sponsors, resident in Dubai, were equally uncovered.

It said that the NAIA Command, within the period under review, received and handed over 100 Nigerians whose offences are not immigration-related to relevant agencies.

According to the statement, such unrelated immigration offences are drug issues, financial crimes, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

It added that the various achievements during the period under review were achieved through the transformation agenda of the Comptroller General with the deployment of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS).

It said that the adoption of MIDAS had helped to enhance air border management at all the airports, adding that with the deployment of the veritable platform, the airport command had been experiencing smooth and seamless passenger processing.

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Nigerian Army responds to extortion claim by Governor Zulum



The Defence Headquarters has promised to investigate the allegation that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole were involved in extortion at checkpoints on major roads in Borno.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno had on Monday alleged that security personnel including soldiers were collecting money from travelers on major roads in the state to the detriment of their duties.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Tuesday, said the Armed Forces of Nigeria have internal mechanisms to check erring personnel and sanction them appropriately.

Enenche said that reported cases of extortion from the public had always been investigated and given the desired attention.

He, however, faulted what he described as “the media or open-air accusation” to tag gallant Nigerian Army personnel as extortionists in checkpoints in Borno.

According to him, all personnel of the Armed Forces are patriotic and focused on their call of duty.

“The High Command of the Nigerian Military hereby re-states the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies to tackling and ending terrorism in the North East,” he said.

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Tambuwal tests negative for COVID-19



Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State Monday night said he had tested negative for COVID-19 .

Tambuwal disclosed this on his official Twitter handle.

It can be recalled that Tambuwal went into isolation due to his close physical contact with personalities who tested positive for COVID-19 during his recent official trips.

According to the governor, during the isolation, he subjected himself to repeated tests by relevant agencies in order to ascertain his status, as required by the COVID-19 protocols.

“It is with gratitude to Almighty Allah, that I inform the general public, particularly the good people of Sokoto State, that the outcome of the several tests I have gone through have all been negative”, he added.

“I wish to express my gratitude to my Deputy, Hon Manir Muhammad Dan’iya, Walin Sokoto, for ably holding fort, while I was in self isolation and going through the mandatory procedures of determining my status”.

Tambuwal also appreciated the Sultan of Sokoto for his fatherly support and guidance through the period, and clerics for their supplications for his health and safety.

He said he was also grateful to members of his family, associates, friends, well-wishers and the good people of Sokoto State and the nation at large, for their goodwill, prayers and sympathy.

“I wish to reiterate my call on the people to support the good and selfless work of relevant COVID-19 agencies within and outside the state by adhering to all the prescribed practices for the prevention of further spread of the pandemic.

“May Allah (SWT) protect us from all afflictions, heal those already affected and forgive those whom we have lost to COVID-19 and other causes,” he said.

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Olu of Warri dies



The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli is dead.

The monarch died on Monday.

Sources said  his health  had deteriorated on Sunday evening.

 His death came barely a week after his fifth coronation anniversary.

Though none of the palace chiefs was willing to confirm or deny it, there was palpable apprehension in the palace vicinity on Monday while some people were also in a sombre mood.

A source confirmed the news, saying the monarch died on Monday morning from the coronavirus. Another source said many palace workers besieged the adjoining shops selling strong alcoholic drinks to buy from them as they believed it would cure them of COVID-19 should they have contracted it from the monarch.

“Olu of Warri is dead but the palace chiefs are trying to keep the information hidden from the public till they are sure the time is right,” the source added.

The late monarch, who was born on March 19, 1955, ascended the throne on December 12, 2015.

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