The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has denied the allegation by musician, David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido that bribe-seeking officers of the service at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, made him miss a scheduled flight to London.
In a tweet by the award-winning musician, he expressed frustration that the immigration officials made him miss his flight as a result of their demand for money from him.
However, a statement issued in Abuja by NIS spokesperson, Chukwuemeka Obua, picked holes with the musician’s claim, saying that he was prevented from traveling on Thursday, May 8 because he could not present his Nigerian passport.
The full text of the NIS statement read thus:
“The attention of the Comptroller General (CG) of Nigerian Immigration Service has been drawn to an incident that occurred on Thursday 8th May, 2014 between officers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja and a Nigerian musician named Mr. David Adedeji Adeleke (a. k. a. Davido) (here -in – after referred to as Mr. Adeleke).
“Mr. Adeleke had approached Immigration Officers at MMIA on the fateful with the intention of traveling out of the country and presented a US passport # 460918874 issued at Georgia on 14 December, 2009 and valid till 14th December, 2019. The officer that attended to him drew his attention to the fact that his US passport has no Nigerian visa on it with which he would have been admitted into the country. He responded that he has a Nigerian passport but forgot it at home. The officer now informed him that he should go and bring the Nigerian passport to convince him that he did not enter Nigeria illegally with a foreign passport without visa.
“Mr. 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 Mr. Adeleke in company of his bodyguards started protesting in a disorderly manner prompting the Comptroller of Immigration in – charge at MMIA to intervene. He 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 9th May, 2014 produced his Nigerian e passport #A02227477 issued at Abuja on 13th August, 2010 and valid till 12th August, 2015. This passport was endorsed/stamped and he then proceeded on his trip.
“However, Mr. Adeleke had posted a damning and defamatory message on Instagram, a social media outlet where he alleged that officers at MMIA refused him departure because he refused to bribe them. This behavior of Mr. Adeleke is quiet 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 in saving him from eminent embarrassment at some international port of entry by ensuring that his passport is endorsed as is the law and practice in Nigeria.
“The intention of this release is not to join issues with Mr. Adeleke but to set the facts of the incident, as it happened at MMIA on the said day straight. The CG wishes to use to use this medium to appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience and cooperate with officers at their duty posts so as to be of better service to them.
“The CG will also advise Nigerians not to encourage or indulge but to report promptly any officer who by words or deeds happen to be seeking gratification before performing his/her lawful duty. All officers in uniform wear/carry name tags (and at the airports, special duty cards) by which they can be identified”, Obua stated.