The Nigeria Immigration Service on Wednesday in Abuja said it has seized 6,216 permanent voter and national identity cards from migrants in 21 border states nationwide, Punch Metro reports.

The Acting Comptroller-General of the NIS, Isa Idris, disclosed this at a retreat with Zonal Coordinators and all Command Comptrollers at the service headquarters in Abuja.

According to Idris, the 2,393 voter cards and 3,823 National Identity cards were seized from persons believed to be in unlawful possession of the documents.

The states where the items were seized include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, and three others.

The Immigration boss said the cards were seized during current operations to prevent immigrants from neighbouring countries from participating in the forthcoming general elections.

He revealed that the immigrants, most of whom hail from West African states have been deported to their various homelands according to the ECOWAS Protocol on freedom of movement.

Idris warned immigrants caught trying to vote will face firm sanctions.

He also said the sanctions await senior officers under whose watch lapses or partisanship were recorded.

“We all know that we are heading towards elections and the only means you can vote is through the voter card. And you can only register for a voter card if you have a national ID card.

“So some non-Nigerians who hold this document may display it at the polling unit and vote. But with our men on the ground and our experiences, that will not happen.

“All the comptrollers shall be held liable for any lapse or partisanship in any personnel under their watch. You are hereby charged to reorient officers and men to exhibit a high sense of professionalism.

“This is why we resolved to hold Comptrollers responsible for any failure recorded by their men,” he said.

Idris also directed Divisional Immigration Officers across 774 local government areas to deepen surveillance and engagements with migrant communities to ensure that no migrant gets involved in the elections.


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