The Nigerian Immigration Service has condemned the altercation between its personnel and a hip hop artiste, David Adeleke popularly known as Davido, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos last Thursday.
The service refuted claims by Davido on Instagram that NIS officers did not allow him to depart from the country because of his refusal to bribe them.
In a statement by the NIS Public Relations Officer, Emeka Obua, in Abuja on Sunday, the service said Davido had approached immigration officers at MMIA on the fateful day with the intention of travelling out of the country and presented a US passport number 460918874 issued at Georgia on December 14, 2009 and valid till December 14, 2019.
It explained that the officer that attended to him drew his attention to the fact that his US passport had no Nigerian visa on it with which he would have been admitted into the country, and Davido reportedly responded that he had a Nigerian passport but forgot it at home.
The statement said, “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. Adeleke started arguing with the officer, who had to refer the case to his superiors and the verdict was that he could not make the trip unless he produced the said Nigerian passport.
“Livid with anger, Adeleke, in company with his bodyguards, started protesting in a disorderly manner, prompting the Comptroller of Immigration in-charge at MMIA to intervene. He advised Adeleke to call his bodyguards to order (caution) 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.”
Davido was said to have left and on the following day produced his Nigerian e-passport with number A02227477 issued at Abuja on August13, 2010 and valid till August 12, 2015.
The NIS stated that the passport was endorsed and the artiste then proceeded on his trip.
The service condemned Davido’s unruly conduct at the airport, noting that it expected him to commend the officers, who attended to him for their professional manner.
The statement added, “This behaviour of 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 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 statement is not to to join issues with Mr. Adeleke but to set the facts of the incident, as it happened at MMIA on the said day straight. “