Sokoto - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said it arrested 24 illegal immigrants at Tamaje village in Sabon-Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
The NIS Comptroller in Sokoto, Yunusa Aliyu, made this known when he presented the suspects to newsmen in Sokoto on Friday.
Aliyu said the immigrants entered the country from Niger Republic without valid travel documents.
He said the suspects were arrested on Thursday when they were travelling to Warri, Port Harcourt, and Onitsha.
"All the 24 suspects, all males of varying ages, were from different parts of the neigbhouring Niger Republic and they were travelling without any valid travel documents.
"The existing international protocol does not prohibit the citizens of other countries from entering other countries, but it must be done with valid travel documents," he said.
Aliyu said the suspects would be repatriated to their country on Friday, adding that four others with valid documents had been released.
"Forty three other suspects escaped from the four buses they were travelling when they were intercepted by our officers.
"The Nigerian drivers of the four buses, which had been impounded by the service, would also be prosecuted for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants," Aliyu said.
The comptroller, who decried the porosity of Nigeria’s borders, promised that the NIS would continue to be diligent in the discharge of its duties.
"The carrot and stick reward system is also still in force in the service, to reward hard work and punish indolence," Aliyu said.