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Assaulted immigration officer tackles agency, CG urges forgiveness


An official of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Yemi Badru, has accused the agency of victimisation for reporting to the police an alleged assault on him by a senior official, Nasir Umar.

Badru, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration, also alleged that the Comptroller General of the NIS, Isa Idris, refused to allow him sit the service’s promotional examination despite being qualified.

PUNCH Metro had reported that Badru had a disagreement with Umar on July 30, 2019, when he was working at the VIP unit of the Ikoyi Passport Office.

Umar, who was a Superintendent of Immigration then, reportedly walked into Badru’s office and accused him of being slow.

Badru claimed that he tried explaining that there was a network issue, but the senior officer allegedly insulted him.

He noted that Umar, who was not satisfied with the verbal assault, allegedly rained slaps on him and also punched him during their disagreement.

Speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, Badru said it took the intervention of a superior officer, Funsho Alao, to prevent the incident from degenerating further.

He added that after going to the office clinic, he discovered that he had sustained internal injuries.

Badru lamented that despite being the victim, the leadership of the NIS abandoned and victimised him.

He said all the committees set up by the NIS did not indict Umar, adding that the leadership of the agency refused to honour requests by the police to release the suspect for prosecution.

According to him, the Lagos State Police Command conducted an investigation into the matter and discovered that he was assaulted for no reason.

“The police wrote to Immigration about eight different letters, requesting the release of Umar so that he could be prosecuted for violating the law of Lagos State, but Immigration did not reply.

“The police sent the case file of their investigation to the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions. The DPP, after studying the file, issued legal advice and established two counts against Umar, bordering on assault occasioning harm and serious assault. Thereafter, the Lagos State Ministry of Justice issued an arrest warrant and request of forwarding of original case file to the police.

“Since the time they asked the police to arrest this guy, the police have been saying because Umar is an immigration officer, he cannot be arrested.

“We attached all the evidence, including the arrest warrant. We forwarded it to the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. The minister immediately directed the Comptroller General of Immigration to release Umar to the police for prosecution.

“Instead of our CG complying, he sent the legal adviser, Mallam J.A. Adamu, and the comptroller in charge of discipline, who is now a comptroller in Osun, Mr Oladele Olasiyan, to set up a Kangaroo senior disciplinary committee against Umar. The committee forced me under duress to agree that I was going to step down from pursuing the case and that I had forgiven Umar,” he added.

Badru lamented that his assailant was promoted to Chief Superintendent of Immigration, while he remained in the same position for over five years.

He further claimed that Umar was planning to take part in the next promotional examination.

He said, “Since 2019 till date, they have not allowed me to sit any promotional exam. The screening for another promotional exam started on Wednesday and the written exam will be on Monday and Tuesday, but my name is conspicuously missing on the promotion eligible list.

“All my mates have been promoted, even my juniors met me on the same rank; whereas, I am the victim.

“I have been physically and psychological assaulted. The immigration ignored everything and posted Umar back to passport office as special assistant to the top management of the immigration.

“I have become a subject of ridicule, intimidation and, as of today, I have received three queries from the NIS.”

The CG, Idris, asked Badru to have a forgiving spirit.

Idris, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on phone on Sunday, explained that Badru was not allowed to participate in the promotional examination because he was under discipline.

He said, “What people don’t understand is that we will continue to commit sin against God. God has never used that against us. If you assault me, I should have that spirit to forgive you; God loves a forgiving spirit. I have not seen the file; I will need to see the file before I can intervene.

“If you are under any disciplinary action, you will not be allowed to take any exam. If I have my permission, I will allow him to sit the exam and then we can withhold his result. It is only after his issues have been concluded that he will be promoted.

“You know I cannot do it alone, there is a committee handling that. But I can assure you that I will talk to the man in charge of human resources and see what will happen. I will try to do something between now and tomorrow (Monday) in sha Allah.”

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