LAGOS State government has warned traditional rulers against the sale of state of origin documents to non-indigenes saying the practice is criminal and anyone caught engaging in the act will be sanctioned.
Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, the Lagos State commissioner for special duties and inter-governmental relations, said the government would review the process of issuing the documents to individuals to ensure due process was followed. He called on traditional rulers and government functionaries who issued the letters to non-indigenes for federal appointments to desist, adding that it put real indigenes of the state at a disadvantage.
Mr Bamgbose-Martins said: “There have been verified reports that non-indigenes procure state of origin documents from different unauthorised sources in Lagos, sometimes at the local government level or even from some traditional rulers as attested to by the Federal Character Commission. This is quite unfortunate that people can descend so low to commit such despicable acts.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations is ready to collaborate with the Federal Character Commission to curb this impropriety. We will review the process of issuing state of origin documents and map out specific steps to ensure that due process is followed before the documents are issued.”
Alhaji Abdul-Wasiu Bawa-Allah, the commissioner representing the Lagos State at the Federal Character Commission, disclosed that a survey carried out by the commission indicated that most of the candidates who presented state of origin documents during recruitments were non-indigenes of Lagos State but had procured such documents from dubious sources. He said the commission would only accept documents from the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, adding that traditional rulers and local government authorities who issued such letters should be duly informed on the implications of their actions.