Exclusive: US Govt Extends Visa Restrictions To INEC Chairman, Commissioners, Others - Islanders Magazine

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Exclusive: US Govt Extends Visa Restrictions To INEC Chairman, Commissioners, Others

The United States Government may have extended its visa restriction policy to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu and its other national and Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) , a source in the known has told WazobiaReporters.

The source confided in our reporter that the visa ban affected all the lNEC Chairman, National Commissioners and RECs excluding Akwa Ibom State REC, Mike Igini.

Our reporter was told that three weeks ago, Oyo State INEC REC, Mutiu Olaleke Agboke was denied visa by the US Consulate in Lagos.

Shocked and worried Mutiu Agboke was said to have asked his one of his brothers to contact a notable Ondo State born rights activist, who has very close links with the US consulate, but the activist turned him down, saying; “Tell him I am not a visa consultant.”

The rights activists was among those who monitored the 2019 elections.

The U.S. State Department had said on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, that it imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians it said were involved in trying to undermine democracy in presidential and parliamentary elections this year.

However, the department did not name the individuals or say how many were affected by the visa restrictions.

President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term in February in an election marred by delays, logistical glitches and violence.

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights,” spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in the statement.

“The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government,” Ortagus added.

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