March 18, 2011
1, Olu Aboderin Street,
Onipetesi, P.M.B 21204,
Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
The attention of this Consulate-General has been drawn to a damaging, libelous, and ridiculous feature entitled, “Alleged Exploitation at Nigerian Embassy in the US” written by one Gbenga Adeniji and contained in your daily edition of Thursday, March 17, 2011. In this publication, you erroneously described the Nigerian legation in 8060 Roswell Road, Atlanta, Georgia USA as an Embassy, which we are not. You claimed that “the embassy oozes Nigeria”, that for those “who intend to process their travel documents”, our Mission sees “it as an opportunity to exploit them to the maximum”.
2. Furthermore, you stated that “like merchants the officials are accused of asking the applicants to purchase envelopes from the Embassy while a printout costs $5”. We have no grudge with your claim that “a Nigerian guy in another building” transacts whatever business he chooses with his fellow Nigerians at whatever cost suits his purpose. Perhaps, if your newspaper established since the 70s could be a bit painstaking, it would have seen the posting in the website of the Consulate-General of Nigeria, Atlanta Georgia, USA that this Mission has no office annex within or outside its premises and that whoever does business with such an outfit does so purely in his or her own interest.
3. It is sad and highly unedifying for your highly revered newspaper to engage in a campaign of calumny and disdain against an establishment without cross checking and double checking your facts. The conclusion of this your unfortunate article in which you “accused us of not processing forms according to given dates and not giving directions on where to put the forms’” is the greatest height of yellow journalism. It is instructive for you to tarry awhile and weigh the consequences of your libelous publication in an era in which several government agencies may be looking for scapegoats in an environment where innocent civil servants bear the brunt of sensational reportage like this publication which is grossly inaccurate and false in its entirety.
4. The wish is yours, Editor, if you would choose the path of honor to verify your facts before going to press and in this case, published an inaccurate rejoinder to exculpate us of your libel and damaging unnecessary exposure to public ridicule and contempt. Let it be known to you that apart from our disclaimer on our website of any underhand dealings, the United States of America is a law and order society which does not practice business as usual. Anyone, be it Nigerian or of any other nationality is not a sacred cow when it comes to unfair business practices but please dissociate this Consulate-General from collusion with anyone wherever to defraud anyone.
5. As civil servants, we may be incapacitated to institute a libel suit against you but your conscience shall be your judge and you will meet your match in your avowed destructive mission if this is your objective.
6. Best regards.
CONSULATE-GENERAL OF NIGERIA,