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The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Abia state command, yesterday deported 45 illegal immigrants rounded up in different parts of the state during a recent raid aimed at firming up security in the state.
State Comptroller of NIS, Mrs. Anthonia Okpara, told newsmen in her office that the repatriated immigrants were part of the 70 immigrants arrested in a series of raids carried out by NIS across the state.
She explained that of the 70 immigrants arrested during the raids, 45 persons were found not to possess valid ECOWAS travel documents hence their repatriation while the remaining 25 persons with valid documents were allowed to continue their stay in Abia.
According to her, the aliens who are nationals of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, were picked up at Umuahia the capital city and other towns including Aba, the commercial city, Ohafia and the cattle market at Lokpa in Umunneochi local government came from Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Okpara said the raid would be a continuous exercise, describing it as part of the security measures by the organisation to keep the state safe. “The raid is not a fire brigade approach, we are alive to our responsibilities and we are proactive in making sure that we rid the state of illegal immigrants,” she said.
The NIS controller said the Service was able to checkmate the activities of illegal immigrants in Abia due to the assistance of the state government and military authorities in the state.
She, however, warned residents of the state against indiscriminate hiring of immigrants for domestic and security jobs without establishing their residence status.