Barely few days ago when this tabloid published a front page comment on Imo passport office, it has been revealed that a lot of scandalous corruption trends in the passport office of the immigration service in Owerri such that Imo applicants choose to go to other states to obtain their passports and other travel documents at cheaper rates and faster too.
Investigations revealed that there is a syndicate allegedly colluding with some officials of the passport or Immigration department acting as middlemen in the passport racketeering. This group hike the procurement of international passport to as high as N80,000 –N100, 000 instead of the statutory fee of N40,000.
It was revealed that no matter the amount of money an applicant pays to these officers and their agents what appears on the official receipt issued to the applicant is only the statutory fee.
It was further discovered that those who are compelled to go to immigration offices in neighbouring states like Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers or Delta get prompt attention and pay the official approved rates.
The situation has made it difficult if not impossible for thousands of youths mainly young graduates who want to travel abroad for further studies or search for greener pastures who seek for medical attention abroad.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of Immigration Services in Imo proved abortive while many Imolites decry the ugly trend and called on the Imo state government to wade into this ugly situation that seems to hamper the academic and socio economic fortunes of Imo people.