Gov’t speaks out over Nigerian national Michael Ernest saga at JKIA


Gov't speaks out over Nigerian national Michael Ernest saga at JKIA
Michael Ernest. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Immigration Department has released a statement over the Michael Ernest saga at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

According to them, the Nigerian national was destined for Maputo, Mozambique but did not have an onward ticket his home country or country of residence.

“Possession of an onward/return ticket is a standard requirement for all passengers either to be allowed entry or departure to a third country where they are not nationals or residents,” the statement from the Immigration Department reads.

“We wish to state that Michael was not singled out because of his nationality neither was he called a criminal,” the statement adds.

It was further indicated that Mr. Ernest was in the company of other travelers and one of them, who was from Rwanda and had an onward/return ticket, was cleared to proceed to Maputo.

Five days ago, the Nigerian national claimed that Immigration officials had mistreated him at the JKIA.

“I arrived Kenya 21st and today 27th I was to get to Maputo from Nairobi only for immigration officers to stop me insinuating the following a. I could have a fake ticket (like really?)…That I and Nigerians are criminal (I was criminalized without even verifying or even taking a look at my ticket, travel history or anything. All it took was a sight of my green passport. My passport wasn’t even opened by any of the immigration officers,” Ernert said.

He further termed the airport officials as ‘condescending and discriminatory’ adding that they had apparently used xenophobic remarks.

Mr. Ernest, a marketing and communications professional, revealed that he had filed a complaint to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for discrimination and harassment.

He also faulted Kenya Airways arguing that they would have to refund him since they did not officially communicate to their passengers on the rules and regulations of travel through JKIA.

“I just flew into Lagos, I rebooked my trip via South African Airways so I fly via South Africa to Mozambique tomorrow (December 29),” he added.

https://twitter.com/MicErnest/status/1211553040446164992?s=20

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