How 2,400 Foreigners Attempted to Acquire Nigerian passport With Fake NIN

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said that the Ministry recently uncovered 2,400 non-Nigerians attempting to acquire the country’s international passport with fake National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The Minister disclosed this on Thursday when the President and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria, Dr. Illiyasu Gashinbaki, led his team on a courtesy visit to him in Abuja.

While noting that the prevalence of identity theft in Nigeria is becoming alarming, Tunji-Ojo emphasized that identity management is key to safeguarding the nation’s national security architecture.

Foreigners holding Nigerian documents
According to the Minister, unearthing the truth about identities is crucial for addressing critical issues. Lamenting that many non-Nigerians are holding the country’s documents, Tunji-Ojo said,

“The integrity of our documents is crucial for national pride and security. Many individuals holding Nigerian documents are not Nigerians.

“For instance, we recently arrested a British Airways crew member with a Nigerian passport procured in London, who turned out to be Ugandan.”

“Recently, we also uncovered 2,400 non-Nigerians with fake National Identity Numbers attempting to acquire Nigerian passports. This passport symbolizes our sovereignty and identity as Nigerians,” Tunji-Ojo said.

The minister said that the two key responsibilities of the Interior Ministry included enhancing national security and preserving citizenship integrity.

He, therefore, emphasized that Nigeria must build the capacity to conduct forensic analysis domestically, eliminating the need to travel abroad for such services.

The Minister highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to supporting the institute and enhancing the integrity of national documents.

Nigeria’s reputation
On Nigeria’s reputation, Tunji-Ojo stated that Nigerians were among the most law-abiding people he had encountered.

“With over 200 million citizens, our correctional centers house about 70,000 inmates, including approximately 25,000 convicted individuals.

“This simply means that only 0.035% of Nigerians are in custody, reflecting the law-abiding nature of the vast majority. But unfortunately, the actions of a few have tarnished our national image,” he said.

Tunji-Ojo added that through collaboration with the institute, the ministry aimed to uphold the highest standards of document verification and forensic analysis to protect and serve the nation better.

Earlier, Gashinbaki said that the purpose of the visit was to express the institute’s desire for continued partnership with the ministry to serve the nation better.

He said that the goal of the institute was to establish independent laboratories to conduct forensic analysis to ensure impartiality and adherence to scientific protocols in legal cases.

More insights on fake NIN
Earlier this month, The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said it had uncovered a syndicate of individuals posing as staff of the commission and issuing fake National Identity Numbers to unsuspecting Nigerians.

It said some offenders have been arrested and are undergoing prosecution with relevant security agencies.

Detailing the modus operandi of the fake NIN merchants in Nigeria, the Director General of NIMC, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, explained that these individuals masquerade as business vendors and cyber cafes, crafting links for unsuspecting individuals, developing software, and fabricating fake NINs.

“This data doesn’t reach our server, resulting in numerous Nigerians falling victim to scams,” she said during a press briefing earlier this month.

The NIN, a unique identifier assigned to each citizen, has gained prominence in recent years as the cornerstone of various government initiatives aimed at enhancing security, governance, and service delivery.



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