From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja 

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the recovery of 6, 216 voters cards and National Identity cards from non-Nigerians across 21 states. 

Controller General of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris, disclosed this, yesterday, at the 2023 NIS election retreat in Abuja.

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He said 3, 823 identity cards and 2,381 Temporary Voters Cards (TVCs) were recovered from illegal migrants planning to unlawfully participate in the forthcoming general elections, totaling 6,216 illegally possessed Nigerian cards. He said the Service was ready to ensure that foreigners did not vote in the February 25 and March 11 elections. He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been notified to remove their names from the country’s voters register.

Kebbi State recorded the highest number of seizures with 1,331 identity cards, 1,356 voters cards, totaling 2687;  while  Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Oyo, Edo, Ogun, Lagos, Akwa-Ibom states also accommodated other migrants in possession of the seized cards. He, however, said NIS did not prosecute the culprits,  but only eased them out of Nigeria to their countries in line with ECOWAS Protocol.

“Let me thank all those who are putting in extra efforts to make the Service and by extension the country proud in their various formations. Special commendation to the Comptrollers of Kaduna and Kwara States, who recently were able to intercept non-Nigerians who were unlawfully in possession of voter’s cards and National Identity cards. Furthermore, may I also use this opportunity to commend the various Command Comptrollers who eased out irregular migrants in their Commands as a result of various Immigration offences. This period calls for the highest level of security awareness among all personnel and any acts of compromise shall be treated as sabotage against our national security. It is on this note that I wish to declare this one-day interactive session open and also hereby invite the gentlemen of the press to see the voter’s cards and National Identity cards recovered from the non-Nigerians in recent times. For me personally, the general election is an opportunity for us to showcase our proficiency in Border Management and intelligent gathering experiences,” he said.