Confusion over Travel Ban List as Presidency, Security differ

There is confusion over the list of over 50 high-profile Nigerians placed on a travel ban by the Federal Government last Saturday as security agencies, including the Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Customs Service have said the list is not with them.

However, the Presidency insisted on Friday that the travel ban list had been sent to the various security agencies through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Saturday announced that security agencies, including the NIS, had placed over 50 high-profile Nigerians on a watch list and restricted them from leaving the country, pending the determination of their corruption cases with the various security agencies.

The development followed the judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the Executive Order 6 by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja last Thursday.

Buhari spoke through his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja.

“To this end, a number of enforcement procedures are currently in place by which the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have placed no fewer than 50 high-profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch list and restricted them from leaving the country, pending the determination of their cases,” the statement titled, ‘Buhari directs implementation of EO6 in full force’, had read in part.

We don’t have travel ban list –Immigration, Customs 
However, the NIS spokesman, James Sunday, told The Punch on Friday that the Immigration had not received any list detailing names of corrupt persons, adding that the service would enforce the travel ban whenever it got such list and directive.

“We have not received the travel ban list; we are a law enforcement agency, our service will fully enforce whatever directive the Federal Government gives to us. So, once the directive (travel ban) is given, we are going to comply. We are an enforcement agency, we don’t have any reason not to comply,” he told one of our correspondents in a telephone conversation on Friday.

In the same vein, the NCS on Friday told one of our correspondents that it had yet to receive any list containing the names of 50 high-profile Nigerians banned from travelling out of the country.

Travel ban list with security agencies, Presidency insists 
But the Presidency insisted on Friday that the nation’s security agencies were already in possession of the list of about 50 Nigerians placed on travel ban as part of moves to implement Executive Order 6 signed by the President.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Shehu, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents.

Shehu said the information made available to him by Malami was that the list had been made available to the security agencies. He said he had no reason to doubt the AGF.

Sources close to the security agencies, however, said that there were individual names that had either been placed either on watch list or stopped from travelling by courts.

These individuals, the sources added, were being watched.