The NIS said the singer failed to present his Nigerian passport.
The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has debunked bribery allegations levelled against its officials by singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido.
In its version of what transpired, the NIS said Davido refused to present his Nigerian passport at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, on May 8, 2014.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Chukwuemeka Obua, said this in a statement.
The immigration service said Davido was denied an exit permit because he approached immigration officials at the airport with his U.S. passport with number 460918874 issued by the U.S. State of Georgia on December 14, 2009 and valid till December 13, 2019.
Mr. Obua said the officer that attended to Davido drew his attention to the fact that his U.S. passport had no Nigerian visa on it with which he would have been admitted back into the country, only for the singer to counter that he had a Nigerian passport but forgot it at home.
“But Adeleke started arguing with the officer who had to refer the case to his superiors. The verdict here too was that he cannot make the trip unless he produces the said Nigerian passport.
“Livid with anger, Adeleke, in the company of his bodyguards, started protesting in a disorderly manner prompting the Comptroller of Immigration in charge at MMIA to intervene.
“He (NIS Comptroller) advised Mr. Adeleke to call his bodyguards to order and comply with the lawful instruction which would not only erase any doubt as to his immigration status but also establish his claim to dual citizenship.
“Mr. Adeleke left and on the following day, being Friday, May 9, 2014, produced his Nigerian passport with number A02227477 issued in Abuja on August 13, 2010 and valid till August 12, 2015. This passport was endorsed/stamped and he then proceeded on his trip,” Mr. Obua explained.
Davido had on his Instagram page accused the immigration officials of corruption.
“Missed my flight to London!! Pissed!! … immigration officers always harassing me cus of money!! …!!,” he said.
The NIS spokesman described the statement as damning and defamatory.
“This behaviour by the young musician is quite unfortunate. One would ordinarily have expected some form of commendation from him for the professional manner the officers who attended to him conducted themselves, especially by saving him from imminent embarrassment at some international port of entry by ensuring that his passport was endorsed as is the law and practice in Nigeria,” he said.
Davido is yet to react to the NIS’ version of events. Effort to speak to his manager was unsuccessful as his telephone number was unreachable as at press time.