Abuja - The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in Edo State deported 120 illegal immigrants this week to several neighbouring countries.
These were among the 450 locals and immigrants from Niger, Chad, Mali, Ghana and Guinea, who were picked up from 18 local councils of the state.
Those deported were found without valid travel and residence papers.
NIS State Controller, David Akwor, said the arrests were made as part of crime-fighting initiatives.
“Recently, foreigners have been arrested in connection with crimes in the state.
"We therefore decided to raid and mop up illegal immigrants. We arrested 450 persons but discovered that some were Nigerians while some of the immigrants had legal documents, leaving us with about 120 illegal immigrants,” Akwor said.
Those from Mali were not deported because of the crisis in their country but sent to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Abuja to formalise their stay in Nigeria.
He denied some of the illegal immigrants might have capitalised on the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on free movement to stay in the country.
Akwor argued the protocol equally provided that they must possessed valid travel documents and entered countries through authorised routes to get immigration clearance.
“Some of them present national identity cards and of course, these are not travel documents, they are just to identify you as citizens of your country," he said.
- CAJ News