The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has debunked claims by one Akpan Goodhead Godwin that it is hindering him from pursuing his scholarship to study law in India.
In a statement released on Monday, NDLEA described Godwin's claims in a viral video as a misinformation and misconception about its handling of visa clearance applications.
Athough the agency said that the applicant collected his clearance document on Monday in Lagos, the State Commander of the Agency in Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Obot Bassey, the NDLEA revealed whu Godwin was denied twice by teh agency's offices in Abuja and Lagos.
Bassey revealed that Godwin applied for the visa clearance in Akwa Ibom State while noting that its "system remains an important instrument and continues to serve as a strong deterrent for aspiring drug dealers from obtaining visas from countries that have subscribed to the scheme."
“...On the 1st of September, 2021, a minor male by name Akpan, Godwin Goodhead, came to the NDLEA Akwa Ibom State Command to collect visa clearance form and requirements. He returned to NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command on the 20th September 2021 to apply, along with relevant documents. Then it was discovered his documents were incomplete and he left NDLEA and returned with his completed documents on the 21st of September.
“Investigations were concluded on the 23rd of September, 2021 and forwarded to the Visa Clearance Department, Lagos office, 4 Shaw Road, Ikoyi Lagos for further investigation.
“It is key to state here, that visa clearance forms are free. As a policy, the applicant pays the sum of N20,000.00 (Twenty Thousand Naira). N10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) is remitted to the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria while the balance of N10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) is used for verification and investigation of the documents submitted as well as dispatch of the reports to the visa clearance department, Lagos for final approval and processing to the named Embassy.
“It is pertinent to inform the public that the visa clearance proceedings in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) take three weeks to conclude. In the case of Akpan Godwin Goodhead, he obtained the form from the NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command on the 1st of September, 2021 and without completing the application, he set out for the Embassy in Abuja, was denied access, left for the Embassy in Lagos, was also denied access. While in Lagos, he was directed to NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command for visa clearance certificate.
“Information gathered from Akpan Godwin Goodhead indicates that he received his letter of admission on the 8th of August, 2021, came to NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command for the first time on the 1st of September 2021 to obtain Visa Clearance form. He submitted the last of his requirement on the 21st of September, 2021 after which investigation and verification were commenced by the NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command.
“Counting down from the 21st of September 2021 to date, it adds up to only 2 weeks and two (2) days away from the stipulated 3 weeks. More so, information from the boy’s video indicates that he went to Abuja and Lagos respectively without the knowledge of NDLEA, Akwa Ibom State Command.
“While Akpan Godwin Goodhead was busy misinforming the public on Facebook, his file was being processed at the visa clearance department, Lagos and currently on transit to Akwa Ibom State Command.
“The NDLEA is a Federal Government Agency mandated to rid the country of illicit drugs and its attendant consequences. The Agency is committed to its core mandate and will never deviate from its constitutional assignment.
“It is a thing of joy to the Agency in particular and the nation at large when her youths pursue the right paths like this young man and not dabble into drug activities. NDLEA will never frustrate the future of any youth but instead will always try to salvage it when they go astray.”