Nigerian Ambassador Under Fire For Issuing Visa To ISIS Leader

The Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Amos Oluwole Idowu, senior officers of the embassy and some personnel of Nigeria Immigration Service might face stiffer sanctions for issuing a visa to a Lebanese terrorist, Ahmed Al Assir.

It was learnt that the NIS visa officers and other officials involved in the visa roll would be summoned to the country to explain their roles in issuing a visa to the terrorist, The Punch reports.

Assir was arrested at the Beirut airport while on his way to Nigeria via Cairo, Egypt.

The ambassador who is the highest officer in an embassy and charged with overall affairs of the mission is expected to be privy to the approval and rejection of visa applications carried out by consular officers.

The Federal Government had reportedly directed security agencies to investigate the lapses that enabled Assir to obtain a Nigerian visa.

It was learnt that the planned summoning of the officers was part of the investigation ordered by the Federal Government.

However, Nigerian embassy in Lebanon had reportedly denied issuing the visa to fugitive stating that Assir used fake visa in attempting to gain entrance.

This explanation by the embassy however was said not to be convincing enough to the federal government.

According to a source: “The government is not convinced by the explanation tendered by the embassy in Lebanon and that is why the security agencies had been directed to investigate the security lapses at the embassy; as it is, all the ranking officials would be summoned to explain their roles and defend their actions.”

A probe panel headed by the permanent secretary in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulus Lolo, had started questioning the affected officers in the ministry.

It was said that Assir who is originally from Palestine, had to undergo a surgery to alter his appearance to hide his true identity from security operatives.

He was linked to the death of 17 Lebanese soldiers and had been sentenced to death by a court in 2013.

The wanted terrorist had been reportedly using different aliases to evade arrest and that his current pseudonym was not on the watch list of the Lebanese security forces.

Assir had been using the fake name, Rami Abdul Rahman Taleb, to evade detection by security agencies in Lebanon until his arrest.

However, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode said there was no update on the probe.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have condemned the attempted made by the terrorist to gain entry into the country.