2,400 Foreigners Caught With Fake IDs In Nigerian Passport Scam

The Nigerian Ministry of Interior, under the leadership of Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has uncovered a significant security breach involving 2,400 foreigners attempting to obtain Nigerian passports using fraudulent National Identity Numbers (NINs). 

Tunji-Ojo made this disclosure during a courtesy visit by President and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria,Dr. Illiyasu Gashinbaki and his team.

The visit, held on Wednesday, provided a platform for discussing the imperative of identity management in tackling identity theft and related crimes in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ozoya Imohimi, Tunji-Ojo emphasized that identity management forms the bedrock of national security. 

He highlighted the alarming rate of identity theft in Nigeria and the necessity of uncovering the true identities of individuals within the country.

“Identity management is the foundation of any nation, and the prevalence of identity theft in Nigeria is alarming. 

“Unearthing the truth about identities is crucial for addressing critical issues,” said Tunji-Ojo. 

He stressed that the integrity of the Nigerian passport, a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and identity, must be preserved.

The Minister further elaborated on the government’s efforts to improve the national identity management system. 

These efforts are aimed at providing accurate and up-to-date information, which is crucial for law enforcement agencies to identify and address security threats efficiently. 

A reliable identity management system, according to Tunji-Ojo, is essential for preventing crimes, tracking down criminals, and ensuring effective allocation of resources for public safety.

Tunji-Ojo also discussed the Ministry of Interior’s dual responsibilities of enhancing national security and preserving the integrity of Nigerian citizenship. 

He highlighted the need for domestic capacity building in forensic analysis to eliminate the dependency on foreign facilities for such services. 

“We must build capacity to conduct forensic analysis domestically, eliminating the need to travel abroad for such services,” he asserted.

The Minister pointed out recent incidents that demonstrate the critical need for stringent document verification processes. 

He said “one such incident involved a British Airways crew member arrested with a Nigerian passport, procured in London, who was later found to be Ugandan.”

Addressing Nigeria’s international reputation, Tunji-Ojo remarked, “Nigerians are among the most law-abiding people I’ve encountered. 

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

This means only 0.035 per cent of Nigerians are in custody, reflecting the law-abiding nature of the vast majority.

 Unfortunately, the actions of a few have tarnished our national image.”

During the visit, Dr. Gashinbaki expressed the Institute’s commitment to partnering with the Ministry to enhance document verification and forensic analysis. 

He underscored the importance of establishing independent laboratories for forensic analysis to ensure impartiality and adherence to scientific protocols in legal cases.

 He also highlighted the problem of substandard products and building collapses due to inadequate testing and verification processes.

The Ministry of Interior, tasked with maintaining internal security, public safety, and the administration of immigration and border control, remains steadfast in its mission to enhance national security and uphold the integrity of Nigerian citizenship. 

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