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Senate begins probe of immigration tragedy on Tuesday

The Senate Committee on Interior will Tuesday begin a two-day public hearing on the unfortunate tragedy that occurred during the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service two weeks ago.

No fewer than 16 people died during the NIS recruitment exercise penultimate Saturday across the country.

The development made the Senate to direct its Committee on Interior to carry out public Investigative hearing on the tragedy.

The public hearing according to the Clerk of the Senate Committee,  Mr. Isah Garba, would hold at the Conference Hall 0231 in the Senate new building by 10:00am each day.

Our correspondent learnt that the committee had invited the Minister of Interior,  Mr. Abba Moro, and the Comptroller General of the NIS, Mr. David Parradang, to appear before it on the two days.

It will be recalled that the senate, at its plenary,  presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu,  last week Tuesday , had asked the  committee to submit report of its investigation within one week with a view to unveiling and recommending for prosecution, those responsible for the tragedies.

Senate’s outrage and resolutions on the tragedies were sequel to a motion moved on the subject matter by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu (PDP Kebbi Central) and 10 other Senators.

Bagudu had recalled in the motion that as far back as 2011, the office of the Head of Service of the Federation granted approval for the recruitment of a total of 4,556 personnel of various cadre for the Nigeria Immigration Service ranging from Assistant Superintendent 1&2 to Immigration Assistant III.

He lamented that it took the paramilitary outfit, three years before coming out with an open attempt to utilise the approval which however ended in national calamity.

He noted in the motion that Drexel Technical Global Services assigned by the NIS to carry out the recruitment exercise,  collected N1,000 from each of the 700,772 applicants that filled the recruitment form on-line.

He said this was contrary to the usual practice of not collecting money from any applicant by Custom Immigration and Prisons Board the statutory recruitment body of the paramilitary outfit.

Bagudu said, “Prior to this tragic exercise, employment into the Nigerian Immigration Service is done in two usual ways.

“The service has responsibility of employment of junior officers while the recruitment of senior officers is handled by the Custom Immigration and Prisons Board, making the introduction of consultants and charging of N1,000 per applicant, a completely new dimension”

Many of the Senators who participated in the debate, called for the sacking of Moro and Parradang for allowing the “shabbily organised recruitment exercise by an incompetent consultancy firm take place under their watch.”

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