A GERMAN-based Nigerian, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, whose name rhymes with that of a terrorist on the federal government's wanted list has been allegedly brutalized by officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) attached to the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Ahmed's Elder brother, Mr. Adam Abdullahi told newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos that Ahmed who came to Nigeria during the last Ramadan holiday was going back to Germany when he was allegedly arrested at the airport and mistaken for the wanted terrorist.
Abdullahi said the 32-year-old Kwara State-born indegin claimed that three NIS officers assaulted him physically adding that one of them hit his head with a rod and left him with a deep cut.
He said all effort to secure Ibrahim's release and claim of innocence were futile as one of the officers simply identified as Alaje insisted on transferring the suspect to the NIS headquarters in Abuja.
Abdullahi also said the intervention of a lawmaker from the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Egberongbe Mufutau who represents Apapa Constituency 1, could not secure the release of the suspect.
"Ahmed called us on Saturday night after we had seen him off that his passport has been seized by immigration officers who claimed that his name was on the list of persons wanted by the federal government. We ran back to the airport and were told by Alaje and Umar who were on duty that the case must be taken to Abuja for clearance. They asked us to return on Monday with a return ticket for our brother and one immigration officer who will accompany him.
"He was made to sleep on the floor of one of the offices and was told that he would need clearance from the presidency to leave the country as his name tallies with that of a terrorist on the wanted list of the Nigerian government.
"But by Sunday night he called again to say he was being beaten by the NIS officers on duty. We went back to the airport only to meet him in the cell. His cloth was soaked in blood while his head was bandaged. He said one of the officers hit him with a rod.
"Ahmed was later taken to Abuja on Tuesday where he was detained. His mobile phone and other valuables were confiscated. Right now he is in Abuja awaiting his bail," said Abdullahi.
An NIS officer at the airport who craved anonymity confirmed the incident and said Ahmed's name appeared on the suspect index of the Service with the instruction 'refer to the comptroller of immigration'. But he said they needed to take the suspect to a detention cell because it was already late.
"The suspect refused to go into the cell. We had to apply minimum force to subdue him," he said.