Electoral Fraud: US Gives Reasons for Not Revealing Identities of Nigerians Issued Visa Ban

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, Wednesday disclosed that for the sake of the confidentiality attached to visa-related issues, the identities of individual Nigerians placed on visa ban over rigging and electoral malpratices would not be revealed.

Speaking at the maiden Consular Meeting with the Federal Government officials to resolve the listing of Nigeria among countries placed on immigration restrictions, Leonard said names of the offenders would not be made public, because it’s a confidential matter.

According to her, “US visa processes are in fact confidential and so we do not publish a list. We do not make public who it is that would be subjected to this sanction.

“An individual who intends to travel or apply for visa would be refused and impeded but it is not something that we advertise. We don’t reveal who these individuals are.

“Anyone who had been involved with election processes in Nigeria should reflect upon that notorious behaviour and in this regards may face the consequences as they may not be able to travel to the United States.

“There are people who we believe merit that treatment and should those people seek to travel or apply for visa, the ban will apply to them.”

The US had Monday placed visa ban on some unidentified Nigerians over electoral malpratices perpetuated during the governorship polls in Bayelsa and Kogi states, warning any one with the intention to undermine the electoral processes in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship polls to be ready to face the consequences.

Commenting on the listing of Nigeria among countries placed on immigration restrictions, the US Envoy appreciated Nigeria for efforts so far put in place to address the issue of information sharing, handling of returnees from the United States despite the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

Idowu Sowunmi