The officers are being detained pending the conduct of an orderly room trial to determine their culpability and prosecution.
The NIS Public Relations Officer, Joachim Olumba, who paraded the labourers before newsmen in Abuja, explained that Immigration personnel on guard duty near the residence of the NIS Comptroller-General on June 6, 2012 about 11 pm, observed suspicious movements in an underground tunnel where Power Holding Company of Nigeria and Nigeria Telecommunications cables were laid.
The guards had fired warning shots and pepper spray, which forced the suspects, Abdullahi Abubakar, Musa Ismaila, Salisu Usman, Awwal Musa and Awwal Sani, out of the tunnel.
According to the NIS spokesman, the labourers, who are from Zamfara State, alleged that they had given money to the five NIS officers on three different occasions.
Joachim stated that the suspects claimed that they gave the officers N19,000, N40,000 and N100,000 on separate occasions, an allegation he said the officers did not deny.
He said the NIS would not condone indiscipline and criminality hence the detention of the men, who, he said would face an orderly room trial from after which they would be handed to the police for prosecution.
Asked why the officers were not paraded alongside their accomplices, Joachim stated that the NIS operatives were not being spared but would face in-house trial before they would be paraded.
He said, “We are not sparing our operatives at all; we are not condoning what they have done. We are observing due process by subjecting them to orderly room trial after which they will be dismissed from service and then handed over to the police for prosecution if found guilty. We have to establish their involvement before parading them.”