Media entrepreneur and social activist, Philip Thomas, who is popularly known as Comrade Phils was ordered out of the Nigerian Immigration office in Port Harcourt, Friday, for refusing to pay a bribe to renew his International passport.
In a video posted on his Facebook wall, the activist lamented the treatment meted to him by the immigration officers after he stood his ground against corruption.
According to him, he was asked to pay the sum of N28,000 if he would wait for three weeks to collect the passport or pay N35,000 to collect it in one week, against the official fee of N17,000 stipulated by the government.
The activist who is known for his popular campaign against corruption stood his ground and refused to pay more than what was stipulated by the government. His stand angered the corrupt officers who ordered him out and attempted to seize his mobile phone when they noticed he was recording the incident.
Many social media users have reacted to the video with some affirming that they paid the same inflated amount to renew their own passports.
“I’m not surprised at all, even the Nigeria embassies in the USA are confidently asking citizens to pay illegal fees to have their passports renewed. Shameful!!” wrote Iyke Chikere, a Nigerian in the Diaspora.
” I renewed mine last week and have collected it, but I paid 28k, same Port Harcourt immigration. I didn’t know that 17k is the official price. Corruption and impunity is on the increase in this country. Even their OGA at the top is aware, maybe that’s why the officers are very bold to collect the extra money on top.” wrote Chukwudike Tante, another victim of the corruption going on in the Nigerian Immigration.
WIRED Nigeria’s query to the Nigerian Immigration Service on the matter is yet to be responded to.
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