Five female immigration officers queried for taking part in social media challenge, risk dismissal

THE Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has queried a group of five female officers for participating in an online social media challenge, accusing them of indecent flaunting of bodies and desecration of the service uniform.

In the video clip which has now gained thousands of views across social media platforms, the officers can be seen carrying out the #BopDaddyChallenge, in which they switch from female officers dressed in uniform, to young elegant ladies, dressed in mufti.

In the copy of the query letter dated April 15 and signed by Iam Haliru, Assistant Comptroller General of NIS, the ladies were accused of causing the NIS embarrassment, and their actions tagged scandalous.

Haliru in the query letter categorised the offense as a serious misconduct which can lead to dismissal from service.

“To state the obvious, your act has caused a lot of embarrassment to the NIS and in line with our standard as a paramilitary organisation, is considered scandalous and an act unbecoming of an officer and therefore a violation of PSR 030401 and 030402. This is a serious misconduct liable to dismissal from service,” the letter read in part.

As a result of their actions, the ladies were mandated to respond to the query and point out why disciplinary action shouldn’t be taken against them.

Copy of NIS Query letter signed by Iam Haliru
Photo: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi

The ICIR couldn’t reach the ACG, Haliru for comment but an NIS officer who chose to be anonymous told our reporter that the actions of the ladies did not harm the organisation, saying such actions did not   affect their duties or concern their line of work.

” I’m surprised that the ACG is interested in such video and any action taken against the women would backfire on the organisation. The ladies didn’t do anything wrong because the BOPDaddyChallenge wasn’t done in the office or during their line of work,” he said.

Similarly, several social media users who have come across the query letter have expressed misgivings on how the matter is being treated.

Those who reacted to the matter submitted that the ladies have managed to humanize the paramilitary uniform and should be used to promote the service of the NIS rather than punishing them for nothing.

    In a series of tweets, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, founder of Stand to End Rape (STER) condemned the attack on the female officers and said that the country is built on violating women’s rights.

    “A gentle reminder that Nigeria is built on violating women’s rights and agency! What kind of sexist Public Service Law frames this as “immoral behaviour,” one of her tweets read.

    Osowobi further submitted that the NIS was being sexist.

    “This act is sexist and unjustifiable. It is a fun challenge that women across the globe have participated in without losing their jobs! Servicewomen are also humans and did not commit any crime with this video. Your focus on “morality” is misplaced!!!,” she said.

    The NIS is yet to release a public statement on this on any of its official social media platforms.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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