The Nigerian Immigration Service Rivers State Command has Seized the Travel Passport of On Air Personality with Nigerian Info 92.3 Mr Kofi Bartels on the Orders of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State
PUO REPORTS learnt that the CIS Haliru who is the Comptroller of Immigration in Rivers State had asked Mr Kofie Bartels to report to its State Command Office with his Trvael Passpor and Work Permit on the 3rd of May 2016.
For those who don’t know, Kofi Bartels was born in Nigeria but his parents are of Ghanaian descent.
When he did report to the Nigeria Immigration Service with his passport and work permit, he was asked to fill certain forms and queried as to his membership of professional bodies in Nigeria particularly the Nigerian Union of Journalists [NUJ]. Kofi replied that he was not a member of the NUJ.
In addition, they stated that his residence permit was fake…a fact which Kofi said was manifestly untrue and impossible.
The Immigration Service also seized his passport and documents and asked him to return with his tax certificate. He did.
Subsequently, the NIS wrote to the Nigerian Union of Journalists [NUJ] to inquire as to whether Kofi was a member of the union. The Chairman of the union scribbled on the memo that indeed Kofi Bartels was not a member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists as Kofi himself had previously stated.
Whilst he was still reeling from the drama with the NIS, the Department of State Security [DSS] came calling on the 25th of May 2015. In Nigeria, the DSS is regarded with awe and they are employed in matters affecting state and national security and defense. Why did Kofi merit a pick-up by this agency?
Kofi was accompanied to the DSS offices by the General Manager of CoolWazobiaInfo, Mr. Aduratomi and a legal practitioner.
Upon arrival, he was asked to write a statement and he inquired as to what he should write about and indeed what the brouhaha was about. After much evasion, he was shown the memo by the NIS where the Chairman of the NUJ Comrade Ayo Tamuno had stated that Kofi was not a member of the union, and therein his offence was unearthed thus: “Illegally practicing journalism in Nigeria.”
According to a source Close to Kofi, the statement he was required to write detailed his life’s chronicles. No detail was left unearthed, from his account statement to properties owned. Everything was laid bare. In addition, he stated that he was legally residing and working in Nigeria with the appropriate documents, he was law abiding and a tax-paying resident of Nigeria and he was not required to be a member of the NUJ to work as an OAP/broadcaster. His lawyer was not allowed to stay in the room whilst he wrote his statement.
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After about 3 hours at the DSS office, he was allowed to leave but ordered to produce recordings of his broadcasts from the first week of May 2016 and throughout last week.
PUO REPORTS gathered from sources close to Mr Bartels that an unknown group of people have written a petition against him.
“Everything is political in Rivers state,” . “If you talk about kidnapping, insecurity or even sanitation, it is taken as a criticism of the Government.” a source Told PUO REPORTS
The NIS is still in possession of his passport and papers as we write.
When did non-registration in a professional body become a crime the DSS is concerned with? How does that affect state or national security?
Or is Kofi an OAP by day and a terrorist by night?