Edo State Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) rose from an emergency congress on Monday, with the decision to uphold the supension order slammed on some of its members, recently accused of misappropriating the N5m meant for the state council of the NUJ.
Members of the chapel’s executive involved in the alleged fraud were affected by the suspension order.
Consequently, a caretaker committe, headed by Mrs. Nefishatu Yakubu has been put in place to oversee the business of the chapel until further notice.
It would be recalled that the State
NUJ Congress met last week and decided to suspend the 9 members who allegely shared the N5m parting gift they claimed former Governor Oshiomhole gave them as his friends.
The Journalists involved represent various out-of-state media houses in Edo State, with a chapel which is part of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Those accused were: Simon Ebegbulem, Vanguard; Tony Osauzo, Sun; Ehis Igbaugba, NAN; Friday Otabor, Nation;
Adibe Emenyonu, This Day; Mmuta, New Telegraph; Patrick Ochoga, Leadership;
Adekunbi Ero, Tell and Aliu Ozioruva, who is Secretary of NUJ and collected the cash and now freelances for the Guardian.
They were given Wednesday this week to refund their share of N500, 000 each by paying it into the NUJ’s account.
The State Secretary of the NUJ also embroiled in this web of fraud was asked to vacate his office and submit all Union property immediately.
In a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting today in Benin City and signed by Mrs. Nefishetu Yakubu and Mr. Iguobaro Osaigbovo, Acting Chairman and Secretary respectively, the Correspondents Chapel stated as follows:
The meeting was convened at instance of concerned members of the chapel who felt disturbed by the action of its Executive and some members in the misappropriation of N5-million meant for the NUJ, Edo State Council.
Congress met and resolved as follows:
That the suspension order by the NUJ State Congress on the Secretary of the Union, Mr. Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Guardian) who is a member of the chapel, the chapel Chairman, Simon Ebegbulem (Vanguard), Vice Chairman, Cajetan Mmuta (New Telegraph), Secretary, Patrick Ochoga (Leadership) and Financial Secretary, Ehis Igbaugba (News Agency of Nigeria) is hereby upheld.
That also upheld, is the state council’s suspension order on some chapel members including Tony Osauzo (Sun), Adekunbi Ero (Tell), Friday Otabor Osagie (Nation) and Adibe Emenyonu (This Day) Newspapers.
That to prevent a vacuum in the leadership of the chapel, Mrs. Nefishetu Yakubu of the News Agency of Nigeria (Treasurer), Mr. Osaigbovo Iguobaro (Peoples Daily), Idris Momoh (Business Day), Barnabas Uzosike (Vanguard) and Patrick Ahanor (Blueprint) were mandated to serve as Management Committee of the chapel.
That whereas the suspended Chapel Secretary, Patrick Ochoga (Leadership) refused to open the Chapel Secretariat inspite of several calls by members as venue for this congress, he refused; Congress will decide his fate at its next sitting on Friday, 29th September 2017.
That the Edo State Government, Nigeria Police, Directorate of State Services and other security agencies, Corporate organizations, commercial banks and the general public are to take note that the above mentioned members cease to be acting on the Chapel’s behalf until the State Congress acts otherwise.
That all commercial bank accounts belonging to the NUJ Correspondents chapel are frozen forthwith.
That the suspended members are to return all Chapel Properties and Monies such as the Keys to the Chapel Bus, Keys to the Chapel Secretariat Bank Documents and Official Receipts and Minute Books etc, in their possession to the Chapel Management Committee on or before 12noon September 27th, 2017.
The following were copied in the communique which was addressed to the State Chairman, Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists:
The Executive Governor of Edo state, Government House, Benin City;
The Speaker, EDHA, Benin City;
The Oba of Benin Palace, Benin City;
The Chief Judge, High Court Complex, Benin City; State Commissioner, Nigeria Police, Benin City; The State Director, DSS, Benin City; The state Director, NSCDC, Benin City, The Media.