The Nigerian Immigration Service has directed former Nigerian public office holders to immediately surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.
The action, officials say, is based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The categories of officials affected by the directive are 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.
“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect,” the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said in a statement Monday.
“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorized possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”
The Federal Government had on August 24 directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.
“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,” a statement by Yusuf Isiaka,the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, said at the time.
According to the statement, the measure was intended to protect and promote Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations in addition to ensuring law and order.