S/Arabia: NASS Begins Probe into Visa Cancellation of 264 Nigerians

National Assembly has commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Visas of 264 passengers aboard Air Peace airline to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian authorities had on November 12, 2023, denied the affected passengers entry into their country by announcing that the passengers’ visas had been cancelled.
Recall that the passengers boarded from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Sunday night and landed at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia before the unfortunate incident.
The investigation followed the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by Member representing Ebonyi in the House of Representatives, Kama Nkemkanma (LP-Ebonyi) and three other lawmakers during plenary in Abuja.
Irked by the development, Nkemkanma called on the Federal Government to adopt the principle of reciprocity.
He stated that the House was notified about the alleged cancelation of the visa of the entire 264 passengers airlifted by one of Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace.
”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 added.
Rep Nkemkanma lamented that the incident happened despite the fact that the APPS which was live between both countries was concluded, and the airline was already airborne to Jeddah.
Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to urgently take decisive diplomatic steps to protect the image of the nation.
The House also pleaded with the federal government to ensure the full implementation of the BASA, protect Nigerian national carriers flying into Saudi Arabia and the Nigerian travelling public.
However, the House mandated the joint Committees on Foreign Affairs, Interior and Pilgrims Affairs to inquire into the immediate and remote circumstances of the visa cancellation and report back within two week.

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