By Ajibola Abayomi,
January 28, 2019.
The National Executive Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) rose from its meeting in Abuja and directed the Lagos state council to explore every available legal means to recoup subscribers fund with the Primewaterview the controversial contractor handling the crisis ridden journalists housing estate.
However, the body also threw its weight behind the investigation of principal actors involved in the matter that include former Lagos NUJ chairman, Deji Elumoye, National Chairperson of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, Mr Tosin, Odusola and Dupe Osinkolu both officers of the union.
The NEC deferred punishment for any of the members of the union involved in the matter pending the outcome of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC trial of the journalists involved.
Mrs Ifeyinwa and Deji Elumoy and other journalists conduct and involvement in the signing of the agreement with the contractors was described as big embarrassment to the union.
The National Leadership of the union however ordered immediate cancellation of the purported agreement.
“The communique issued by the NEC reads thus: “NEC notes that those involved in the land project took things for granted. They lacked proper coordination and failed to keep proper records of transactions.
“This mistake on their part landed the NUJ and NAWOJ in a big embarrassment.They are Deji Elumoye, Ifeyinwa Omowole, Tosin Odusola and Dupe Osinkolu. NEC however defers any sanction on these members pending the outcome of the case before EFCC.
Below are the excerpts of the NUJ communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting.
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ), HELD AT VINES HOTEL, ABUJA ON FRIDAY 25TH JANUARY, 2019.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), at its inaugural meeting held at Vines Hotel, Abuja on Friday 25th January, 2019, attended by all the State Councils and National Officers, considered several Union matters and issues of urgent national importance and resolved as follows;
NEC supports the current position by NLC on the minimum wage and urges the Federal and State Governments to concede to the demands of Labour to avert crises.
That the Federal Government should intensify efforts to stop the wanton killings and kidnappings in the North West region especially in Zamfara State. NEC is worried that such acts of lawlessness have reached alarming proportions and should be immediately curtailed before they spiral out of control, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
That the Law enforcement agencies and the political class must collaborate to guarantee the safety and security of of Journalists covering the 2019 general elections. NEC charges Government to note this as a matter of priority to ensure credible national elections.
NEC in session also approves the resuscitation of the NUJ National Monitoring Committee on Safety of Journalists and directs all the 36 State Councils and the FCT to duplicate same in their respective Councils. This is to ensure that Journalists on election duties are properly monitored to forestall mindless attacks and clampdowns on Journalists and media establishments during elections.
Journalists are cautioned that much as they are free to cover any political assignment, they must guard against being partisan but rather work as unbiased umpires.
NEC advises the youths not to make themselves willing tools for mischief and violence in the hands of some unscrupulous politicians during the electioneering period and also during the conduct of the elections. That the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS), should expedite action on the distribution of pre-paid meters to consumers. NEC frowns at the continued unacceptable and scandalous billings of consumers without due justification.
NEC expresses worry that the Federal Government had continued to toy with the future of Nigeria by the lip service it pays to education. Of utmost concern to NEC is the lack of seriousness with which Government continues to address the ASUU strike. NEC calls on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to this imbroglio.
LAGOS COUNCIL\NAWOJ LAND DISPUTE
NEC IN SESSION CONSIDERED THE REPORT OF THE BONIE IWOUHA ELDERS COMMITTEE THAT WAS INAUGURATED ON THE 25 AUGUST 2018 IN LINE WITH THE SOKOTO NEC RESOLUTION HELD JUNE 30TH, 2018 TO ADVISE THE UNION ON THE WAY FORWARD.
NEC directs that the MOU signed with the Developer, Primewaterview Holdings should be terminated through a letter from the NUJ Lagos State Council. The agreement signed by the NUJ/WAWOJ with the company lacked necessary legal backing and should therefore be discarded.
That a new process of allocation to identified Subscribers should be embarked upon by the Lagos State Council of NUJ.
That due to the unorganized nature in which the project was embarked upon, no State Council of the Union should enter into an agreement of any magnitude without the approval of the National Secretariat of the Union.
NEC directs that every legal step should be taken to recover the money not accounted for out of the N73m paid to the Primewaterview Holdings Limited in five instalments between July 2016, and April 2017. The money should be returned to Subscribers.
NEC directs Lagos State Council to engage the services of Licensed Quantity Surveyors to quantify and verify the money expended on the project by the Developer so far given the doubt expressed over the N180million claimed to have been spent by the Developer, especially on stabilisation of the Estate.
NEC directs that those who still believe in the continuation of the project should be allocated their full plots of land (“50 X 100”) size.
NEC directs Lagos State Council to take steps to verify the N4million returned from the conversion of the said “expired dollars” claimed by Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowole and the N2million Mr. Deji Elumoye said were together used to pay Omo-onile, the land owners as settlement.
NEC notes that Mrs Omowole and Mrs Tosin Odusola did not know the total amount realised from subscribers to the project. Lagos State Council should take every step to get the total number of subscribers and the total amount realised from the contributions from Mrs Dupe Osinkolu who is now domiciled in U.S.A. She was the anchor person of the project in Lagos as well as the Desk Officer.
NEC notes the claim by the initiator of the project, Mrs Omowole that she has the assurances of one foreign Developer by the name Lynphyl Homes Limited who promised to build 30 units of Bungalows in the first phase free of charge. This should be at the discretion of the Subscribers.
NEC charges Lagos Council that the allocation of the plots of land when recovered should be done by professionals with legal backing.
NEC notes that those involved in the land project took things for granted. They lacked proper coordination and failed to keep proper records of transactions. This mistake on their part landed the NUJ and NAWOJ in a big embarrassment.They are Deji Elumoye, Ifeyinwa Omowole, Tosin Odusola and Dupe Osinkolu. NEC however defers any sanction on these members pending the outcome of the case before EFCC.
NEC commends the Bonie Iwouha Committee of Elders for a good job.
Shuaibu Usman Leman