It was announced last November during a press meeting with the United States consular officers at the public Affairs section of the US Consulate lagos, that 6000 Nigerians were targeted to scale through the US 2012 DV lottery.
Aside winning the lottery, it was said that players must possess the minimum education requirement of 5credits in 5 different subjects in the WAEC, SSCE, NECO or NABTEB certified exams necessary to qualify for the visa.
Also, at the recent press briefing held at same venue, the US consular officers who announced the changes on the method of notifying the 2012 DV lottery winners, re-emphasized on the reasons any winner could be denied visa which are as follows; not possessing the minimum education qualification, improperly completed application form and inconsistency in the information supplied and falsification of document.
It has however been discovered, as deducted from complaints, that there could be other reasons for visa denial not communicated to Nigerians since individuals who claim to have been refused visa after winning the lottery met the criteria for visa issuance.
In this regard, immigration law expert barrister Eddie Onyekah faulted whatever procedure or method used for issuance of visa to winners of the DV lottery stating categorically that the US consulate in Nigeria may not be completely honest on the entire lottery issue.
Citing the case of Adesanya Adebayo Modupe, who was randomly selected for further processing in the Diversity immigration Visa program for the fiscal year 2011, Barr. Onyekah expained that after following all instructions and guidelines, paid all required fees, in addition to possessing 8credits in one sitting, after interview on Tuesday February 8 2011, she was denied visa. “She was issued a letter which claimed that our client has been found ineligible …. and alleged to have failed to meet the minimum education requirement necessary to qualify for the DV visa lottery”.
Explaining further he said that Modupe reported that “the interviewing consular officer took her by surprise by giving her some mathematics puzzle to resolve and before she could make an attempt, she was asked to stop and promptly issued the letter purporting to disqualify her on the claim that she lacked minimum education requirement”.
Concerning the arbitrary and unlawful manner by which some Nigerian DV winners are humiliated and turned back at the US consulate according to Onyekah, is against the laws, rules, regulation, practice guiding the DV programme which he said, never gave the consular officer the legal, administrative or ministerial authority to constitute herself into an examination body.
In as much as the efforts of the US towards making lives more meaningful for individuals through the DV lottery programme as many Nigerians have migrated successfully to US by winning the lottery, is commendable, many aggrieved individuals are urging the consulate to conduct thorough investigation into the conduct of officers in the DV department to check the trend and save the United States more criticism and above all, give all lottery winners a fair chance of migrating to America.