Niger State Governor Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago has reassured all security formations, particularly the federal agencies, of the state government's support to effectively carry out their functions in the state.
The Governor stated this at a public lecture organised by the state command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as part of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the NIS, held at the Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, on Thursday.
He disclosed that the present administration was determined to support all federal agencies in the state and that they saw the presence of the agencies in the state as a catalyst for development.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Comrade Yakubu Garba, observed that it had been 60 years of triumphs and challenges, but that the service had grown to some enviable heights with room for improvement.
He commended the NIS officials for sustaining and strengthening the security and prosperity of Nigeria through proactive, effective, and efficient border security and immigration management over the years, adding that he was pleased with the improvements in the issuance of travel documents and residence permits to foreigners in Nigeria, as according to him, the system was getting better by the day.
The Governor further stressed that a lot needs to be done in the area of border surveillance and patrol, saying that according to statistics, most of the criminal activities perpetrated in Niger State were masterminded and carried out by illegal immigrants who forced their way into the country through neighbouring states.
"I urge the Nigerian Immigration Service to intensify efforts to ensure strict migration guidelines for intending entrants into the country.
"I assure you of our continued support in the discharge of your responsibilities," said the governor.
Earlier in his address, the state Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Samuel Nongo, went down memory lane to explain how the service was extracted from the Nigeria Police Force in 1958 as a department that later turned into an agency of government in 1963 and was later granted paramilitary status in 1992 after some structural reforms.
He added that the Nigeria Immigration Service had been repositioned to handle migration management in line with international best practises, saying the 60th anniversary celebration was designed to commemorate the journey of the service so far as well as mark the significant milestones achieved within the period.
The state Comptroller of Immigration observed that terrorism and kidnapping were transborder crimes that were alien to Nigeria but now bedeviled the nation, adding that government at all levels must invest in migration management to forestall or minimise transborder crimes.
One Idris Baba Hassan of Kusfa area in Suleja Local Government in Niger State, was arrested by the operatives of the Dapartment of State Service DSS, for impersonating the Secretary of attached to the Niger State National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, Barrister Usman Mohammed Jankoli.
Baba Hassan was accused of impersonating the secretary by calling and sending text messages with his phone number 08181810017 to litigants before the tribunal demanding for gratification.
Already, the Principal Staff Officer Legal Services of the DSS, Niger State Command Abdulmalik Sani, has charged the impostor to Minna Chief Magistrate Court No1.
He was arraigned on one count charge "of impersonation, which according to the legal officer, contravened section 132 of penal code law of Niger State.
Sani told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime between July and August, 2023 while parading himself as the secretary to the Niger State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Minna, demanding for gratification from various litigants that have cases before the tribunal.
When the charge was read to the defendant by the presiding Chief magistrate, Adamu Abubakar, he pleaded guilty to the charge and he was immediately convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
He was however given an option of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) fine.