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INTELS in court to quash deportation order on foreign workers

As part of efforts to show serious interest and confidence in the Nigerian economy, upon all the frustrations being faced form several government agencies, INTELS Nigeria Limited, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for an order granting it leave to apply for judicial review of the decision taken by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammed Babandede, giving 102 expatriates on its employ till end of last month to leave or be deported.

The NIS order seems to be an offshoot of the revocation of their work permits based on the issues bordering on the challenges INTELS was having with the Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA).

Coming with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/1180/2017, dated November 24, 2017, the action was filed on behalf of INTELS by its counsel Adeniyi Adegbonmire (SAN).

Muhammed Babandede is the sole respondent in the suit.

Specifically, the applicant, INTELS is asking the court to declare that the decision of Nigerian Immigration “is unlawful, unconstitutional, wrong, and void ab initio.”

Besides, INTELS among others, is seeking “a declaration that the respondent acted ultra vires when he proceeded to issue or authorised/directed the issuance of a press release dated the 15th day of November, 2017 with reference No. NIS/HQ/PRU/267/V.1 to the effect that the residence/work permits of the expatriate staff of Intels stand revoked, and further issuing a directive that the said persons shall leave the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on or before the 30th day of November, 2017, without first giving the applicant or the said persons the opportunity to be heard.

“A declaration that the failure of the respondent to communicate with the applicant or to formally notify the applicant of his decision as hereinbefore stated prior to the revocation or purported revocation of the residence/work permits of the expatriate staff of the applicant is unlawful and wrong.

“An order of certiorari quashing the decision of the respondent, as conveyed in the Nigeria Immigration Service press release dated 15th November, 2017 with reference no NIS/HQ/PRU/267/V.1 and written under the hand of the Service Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service upon the directions and authorisation of the respondent, by reason of the fact that the said decision is illegal, procedurally unfair, unconstitutional, unreasonable and/or irrational.

“An order of certiorari quashing the respondent’s decision to revoke the residence/work permits of the expatriate staff of the applicant on the grounds that the decision offends against the constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing of the applicant.”

INTELS is also praying for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the Comptroller General of Immigrations to immediately reverse the revocation directive issued against the expatriates and to immediately restore/reissue to them, their residence/work permits.

INTELS order which was pursuant to Order 34 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009, was originally for mention on Monday could not proceed owing to the absence of legal representation for the respondent.

INTELS counsel told the Court that hearing notice and the order asking the respondent to show cause why the reliefs being sought by the applicant should not be granted were served on the Immigration boss.

However, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, adjourned hearing in the matter to January 10, 2018.