Reps Launch Inquiry into S/Arabia Visa Cancellation of 264 Nigerians

The House of Representatives has launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Visas of 264 passengers aboard Air Peace Airline from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport on Nov. 13.

This followed the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by Rep. Kama Nkemkanma (LP-Ebonyi) and three other lawmakers during plenary in Abuja.

In a motion, Nkemkanma expressed displeasure over the development while calling on the Federal Government to adopt the principle of reciprocity.

He said on Tuesday that the House was informed that the Saudi Arabian authorities allegedly canceled the visa of all the 264 passengers airlifted by one of Nigeria’s major carriers, Air Peace.

He said: ”The House is aware that all the passengers went through the Advanced Passengers Pre-screening System (APPS), which was also monitored live by the Saudi Arabia authorities before the flight left Nigeria.

“The House is worried because, according to sources at the Nigerian Embassy in Jeddah, even the Saudi immigration personnel could not locate who authorised the cancellation of the visas,” he said.

He added that this happened even when the APPS, which was live between both countries, was concluded and the airline was already airborne to Jeddah.

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He condemned the embarrassing act of canceling the visas of 264 Nigerians on arrival in Saudi Arabia by the country’s authorities.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to urgently take diplomatic steps necessary to protect the nation’s image.

The House also urged the federal government to ensure the full implementation of the BASA, protect Nigerian national carriers flying into Saudi Arabia, and protect the Nigerians traveling public.

The House, however, mandated the joint Committees on Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Pilgrims Affairs to inquire into the immediate and remote circumstances surrounding the cancellation and to report back within two weeks. (NAN)

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