Residents of Ughelli and its environs in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State have called for the transfer of the area officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) simply identified as Dumebi Izediuno for allegedly extorting applicants.
The Federal Government has said it will start the enforcement of the use of the National ID card in January, 2019. This has necessitated the rush for registration across the country.
It was learnt that aside extorting money from applicants, Izediuno also rains verbal abuses on applicants who had travelled most times from remote villages to register and enable them obtain their national ID cards.
Warri Today reliably gathered that the NIMC official had almost fought about three persons during the festive season over their refusal to give kickback before being captured for the exercise.
Some of the applicants our reporter spoke with lamented the situation and called for the immediate transfer of the accused, adding that Izediuno takes between N1, 000 to N2, 000 before agreeing to register applicants.
One of the applicants who simply identified himself as Unude recounted, “My wife and me had gone to Ughelli Council Secretariat to collect the original slip from the office but after greeting the man in charge, but to our surprise, he ignored us and went into his office to sit.
“One of the staff asked us what we wanted, after explaining our mission, we were told that our charge is N2,500 because the network in their system is down and it is controlled from Abuja. But one the applicants told us that if we pay the amount they are demanding, we could get what we want in 15 minutes. In less than 15 minutes we got it after giving them N2,000 for slip.”
The source added that those who could not pay were asked to wait until the network in Abuja is connected to the centre.
Another aggrieved applicant and a chief from the area lamented, “The attitude of the Izediuno is something we cannot comprehend and we are appealing to NIMC and ServiCom to urgently rescue us from the arrogance of the officers in the centre.
“I was told that if I need my slip I should urgently pay N2,500 which I did, but when they saw my name, my money was returned and I was directed to go and generate ‘RRR Code’ and pay the sum of N660 to the bank.”
Others at the centre who also expressed worries over the development, however, appealed to the national leadership of NIMC to urgently prevail on the staff before the situation degenerate into protest.
The situation was not different when this reporter also disguised as an applicant only to be requested to pay N2000 by one of the officials before his forms could be processed.
When our reporter seeks to know what he was paying the money for and to whose account, Dumebi said, “I am in charge of this office, nobody can control me on what to do and if anyone put me under pressure, I will tell them, Abuja don’t have network.”
When contacted, Izediuno, who is the head of NIMC Ughelli area office, denied all the allegations saying that registration for the scheme is totally free.
According to him, “National ID Card is free. It is pasted in all NIMC offices and so there is no reason for any money to be paid to anybody. The allegation is not true. I don’t even know what the person is saying.”