Chinelo Obogo and Paulinus Aidoghe
A Nigerian citizen based in Chicago, US, Mr. Clement Ajuwa, has accused the Nigerian Consulate in New York of passport renewal racketeering calling for a probe of agents working for the consulate in states other than New York.
But the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr. Ben Okoyen, has refuted the allegation saying Nigerians applying for passport have been advised against engaging the services of agents even as he promised to check the records in the Consulate to ascertain if the agent actually submitted the request.
Narrating his ordeal in four different letters addressed to the Consul General of the Consulate of Nigeria in New York and Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Ajuwa said he applied for passports for his children over 24 months ago through an agent, Adamazi Events based in Chicago, which he said works for the Nigerian consulate in New York by helping to collect forms and funds in preparation for passport renewal. He, hoer, lamented that till date, he had not received all the the passports.
He also lamented that despite filling out a form to the Public Complaints Commission in Abuja and writing several times to the Consulate andMinistry of Foreign Affairs, he had not received a response to his pleas.
In a letter addressed to the Consul General of the Consulate of Nigeria in New York, dated March 1, Ajuwa said alongside his wife and four children, he went to 6200 S Drexel Avenue in Chicago in June 2018 for the renewal of their passports and that the exercise was to be conducted by visiting staff from the Nigerian consulate.
When Daily Sun contacted the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr. Ben Okoyen, he said the Consulate does not engage the services of agents in the issuance of passport, but that he would check the records to ascertain if the agent actually submitted the request. He however said the absence of a passport does not prevent anyone from traveling to Nigeria as the consulate can issue a traveling document to intending to travellers.