Funmilola Fasina, a 55-year-old retired civil servant based in Abeokuta, has accused the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) command in Ogun State of collecting N45,000 from her without properly processing her international passport.
Fasina told our correspondent that precisely on June 22, 2022, an official of the passport immigration service told her to come for passport capturing.
“I went to the immigration office in June last year in Abeokuta to register for my passport. After the capturing, I was given a number and a name. I thought the name was the person I was going to get the passport from,” she said.
“On the paper I was given was written ‘Olaitan’, whom I thought I was to collect my passport from. I later realised that someone else’s name had been registered with my picture. I was told it was a technical issue that could only be resolved by the passport technical agents in Ibadan, who would come down to Abeokuta.
“In August, I met with the person I paid the money and I had another capturing. I have been going up and down to the office, and nothing has been done.”
Fasina also stated that the person she gave the money was different from the person that captured her.
Our correspondent had a phone conversation with the Abeokuta immigration official who collected the money from Fasina. She admitted that Fasina came for her passport capturing in June 2022 and was given “an enrolment number after she was captured”.
From their WhatsApp interaction, our correspondent understands that Fasina has been the one pressurising, even pleading with the NIS official to produce her passport. She was told to bring her “local government certificate and birth certificate with two passport photographs”.
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“It was when my colleague wanted to produce the passport a few minutes before 12 am in Ibadan that he told me that there was a mismatch in the name and enrolment number on the slip and the one displaying on the system. I thought the mistake was from me: maybe I copied the wrong enrolment number to my colleague,” the NIS official told our correspondent.
“Then I called her (Fasina) to send me the enrolment number. I discovered that the name on the slip was different from that on the system. I then went through the file and found out that her information had been registered with another person’s picture. This issue of picture swap can only be rectified in Abuja. There’s nothing anybody can do.”
Reacting, the spokesperson of the NIS Ogun State Command, Osifeso Olajide, noted that “what happened to Mrs Fasina only happens once in a while”.
“The network might have fluctuated, bringing Mr A’s picture onto Mrs B’s information. If this happens, there is no state command that has the right or the technical privilege to correct any error. You have to inform Abuja. Her face is on someone else’s information and the officer cannot do anything,” he said.