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    Friday, March 18, 2022

    FAAN Bans Immigration Officers for Extorting 14-year-Old Traveller

    The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it has barred two immigration officials permanently from the nation’s airports after they extorted a passenger.

    FAAN said the unnamed officials collected N8,000 from a 13-year-old girl travelling on Lufthansa Airline, prompting her mother to complain on Twitter.

    The incident took place on February 19 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

    An investigation confirmed the officials took money from the passenger and they were made to refund the amount, FAAN spokesperson, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said in a statement Friday.

    The probe, which included a review of security cameras at the airport, was carried out with the support of the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the offending personnels’ duty cards were “permanently withdrawn.”

    Extortion is common at Nigerian airports and passport offices where officials frequently ask passengers and applicants for tips or inflate the cost of their services. Airport officials sometimes try to compel passengers to pay under the pretext they did something wrong.

    The government has failed to address the problem despite repeated promises. In October 2021, the acting comptroller general of the NIS, Isah Jere, disguised as a passport applicant and caught two officers who charged extra fees for passport.

    In February, FAAN said it arrested 90 airport personnel and outsiders at the Lagos and Abuja airports for extortion and other offences.

    “We would like to commend the mother of the child, who has confirmed receipt of the money, for deeming it fit to escalate the case, and assisting us tremendously in the course of our investigation.. Also, we would like to express our appreciation to the Comptroller of Immigration,” FAAN said in its statement.

    “The Authority will continue to identify and sanction any airport official (inchiding FAAN officials) found to be extorting passengers or perpetuating any act of illegality at our airports.”

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