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How Top Officials At Nigerian Consulate In Atlanta, US, Perpetrate Corruption, Work Against Consular-General, Smaila – Sources

SaharaReporters learnt that the corruption by the officials had been going on for years before the arrival of the new and present Consular-General, Amina Smaila.

Some principal officials and members of the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta, United States, have been accused of several corrupt practices and gross misconducts, according to multiples sources who spoke with SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters learnt that the corruption by the officials had been going on for years before the arrival of the new and present Consular-General, Amina Smaila.


SaharaReporters further gathered that some old officials at the consulate were making efforts to implicate and work against Smaila and rubbish the fight against all forms of corruption.
One of the sources told SaharaReporters that the old rogues at the Consulate had devised all schemes and would go any length to make sure that the new Consular-General did not succeed at her job.
One of the principal officials fingered was; one Hannatu Briggs who had allegedly been diverting money orders paid by applicants till this day.
The source made an appeal to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government to investigate the corruption that had crippled the Consular Office in Atlanta, US.
“This place is really stinking of corruption, and it has to be sanitised. We can’t continue like this. It has to stop, and I believe things can go right again,” the source told SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
He added, “I am calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to throw their support behind Smaila to rid the Consulate in Atlanta of the vast corrupt practices.
“Prior to the arrival of the present CG and present officers, the Consulate was experiencing the worst time due to the poor leadership we had; the operations was so bad that there was a lot of bad publications about the Consulate in the news media regarding the corruption and racketeering being carried out by some officers and staff at the Consulate that fingered an officer, Hannatu Briggs who still diverts money orders paid by applicants till this day.
“This issue is not new and it possibly reaches up to the headquarters in Abuja (mainly the office of the Permanent Secretary) as the former CG Hon. Aishatu, officer Briggs and the FA, Margaret Mangai always report back to the Permanent Secretary Gabriel Aduda since we started the collection of $130 per applicant.
“The Consulate also had a bad public view on the attitude of officers and staff to applicants. The attitude was so bad that it caused a scandal that went viral on online social media when one member of staff, Mr. Pious Uhumuobhi was caught on camera insulting applicants, citizens of our great country, Nigeria who came to their country’s Consulate to receive services and were treated very badly.
“In all my time as a staff and even throughout my working career, I had never seen a working environment that was so toxic and plentiful with corruption and disregard for work especially as it relates to national duties, as between 2018 and June 2021.
"When we learned that the present Consul General was coming to resume in early 2021, we took the news with a heavy relief because the Consulate desperately needed a good leadership change for the better.” 
Another source said, “We expected the resumption of the present CG to take place with immediate effect but came to understand that the immediate past CG was trying to work with the headquarters in Abuja so she can stay in position, possibly to continue with the status quo which benefited her, Perm Sec, Aduda, Hannatu Briggs and the FA, Margaret Mangai who were in charge of the collection of money from applicants.
“We waited for months after the announcement was made for the new CG to arrive and even helped to receive a lot of her belongings she sent around April/May of 2021 from the airport but the present CG never resumed until July, 2021. When she finally arrived, she came to the Consulate directly from the airport on her very first day in Atlanta after such a long trip.
“Some officers were also posted to Atlanta Mission around the same time, officer Mujahid Umar who is still here and officer Omolola Durodola who was appointed as the Head of Chancery not long after. We were all very happy and there was a huge change of air within the Mission as we had heard about the CG and knew that her coming to Atlanta will bring the much needed change the Mission and applicants need.
“The issue of Passport racketeering and corruption at the Consulate predates the arrival of the present CG. There is concrete evidence on officers like Hannatu Briggs who was involved in a corruption scandal that went viral over a year ago.
“Mrs Briggs as she is called did not learn any lessons from that scandal and obviously had the support of the past CG and has the support of the Permanent Secretary as she was not reprimanded and has continued with her practice of corruption by instructing applicants not to write the Consulate’s name on money orders meant for payment of fees to the Consulate and instead leave them blank so that she and her internal collaborators can redirect the money orders and cash them to their benefit causing the Consulate and Nigerian Government to lose thousands of dollars due to outright theft.”
“Also, a local staff in the Immigration department of the Consulate called Aliyu (Kadiri) Ekekhide, regularly smuggles files of applicants who do not follow due process into the Consulate to illegally fast track their applications for direct payments to him,” another source revealed.
“Mr. Ekekhide does act alone as he answers to immigration officers who supervise him, one of whom was recently the subject of a legal petition written by the lawyer of an agent who claimed she had paid the officer, Mr. Olanrewaju Nurudeen over $10,000 to fast track the applications of candidates she introduced to him outside the Consulate.
"Mr. Olanrewaju made direct confessions to the Hon. Members from National Assembly that visited the Consulate a few months ago, he confessed to illegally receiving money from the agent to process passports and visas for applicants she brought to him outside the Consulate.” 
The sources called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to fish out the bad eggs and protect the present CG of the Consulate in Atlanta against the schemes of the corrupt officials.