Thousands of Nigerians recently granted citizenship in Ireland have had their applications for Irish passports returned.
Applicants whose applications have returned were informed in writing by the Passport Office to go to the Nigerian Embassy in Dublin to validate either their birth or marriage certificates, or both in the case of married applicants.
A number of Nigerians who contacted Metro Éireann over the issue criticised the Passport Office for its actions. One applicant, who does not want to be identified, said it would have been better if everyone was informed about the requirements before they sent their applications.
Another said that other nationalities are not being asked to certify their documentation, and accused the Passport Office of discrimination.
“This would be flagrant discrimination if this is being requested of Nigerians alone, and we could actually seek to quash that requirement by way of judicial review if it is directed against Nigerians alone,” added one Nigerian who is not involved in the process.
It is believed that the situation is creating unnecessary tension in the Nigerian Embassy and stretching its limited resources. The Nigerian Embassy website states that a fee of €25 is charged per page for authentication of documents.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Metro Éireann that the Passport Office “is obligated under the Passport Act to satisfy itself as to the authenticity of documentation provided to establish the identity of applicants.
“Authenticating documents can be complicated in the case of a number of countries due to different factors, including variations in document quality, variations in document standardisation; and, the lack of a range of security features in documents.
“In order for the Passport Office to satisfy itself as to the authenticity of documents it can be necessary to carry out additional checks,” the spokesperson added.
Catalpa From Politics.ie Said this
The Dept of Justice under Alan Shatter has issued of thousands of Irish Citizenship certificates to people from Nigeria
- and yet the Passport Office says that the documents submitted to them to issue Passports on the back of these certs are dodgy!!!
One wonders what kinds of checks did the DOJ carry out in the granting of Irish Citizenship - or did they carry out anything more than a cursory examination of what paperwork was submitted by the appelents?
One wonders if the Nigerians who cannot prove that they are who they say they are to the satisfaction of the Passport authorities to be stripped of their new found 'Irish' Citizenship?
Or will the PO be told to quietly drop their inquiries in order to avoid an embarrassing scandal involving Minister Alan Shatter dishing out Irish passports to thousands of chancers?