Congress of Edo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have indefinitely suspended nine of its members, including the Edo NUJ Secretary-General, Mr. Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem at an emergency congress held at the weekend for allegedly and fraudulently collecting and converting N5 million cash gift meant for all members.
Chairman of Edo State NUJ, Roland Osakue and Secretary of its communiqué drafting committee, Kehinde Osagiede signed a communiqué that was produced after the emergency congress held at the hall of the state secretariat on Reservation Road in Benin City, Edo State.
Titled: Suspension of Edo NUJ Secretary, Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Eight Others Over N5, 000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) Fraud, it states: “Following exhaustive deliberations by members of Edo State NUJ at its 22nd September 2017 congress on the above subject matter, the congress therefore resolved as follows.
It states further: “That all the nine members involved in the N5m fraud be suspended indefinitely, namely: Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, The Guardian; Simon Ebegbulem, Vanguard; Cajetan Mmuta, New Telegraph; Patrick Ochoga, Leadership; Otabor Friday, The Nation; Adekumbi Ero, Tell Magazine; Tony Osauzo, The Sun; Adibe Emeyonu, Thisday; and Ehis Igbaugba, NAN.”
“That the property of the union in possession of the suspended members, particularly the Secretary to the council, Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, be withdrawn.”
“The affected members return the said N5m to the union’s coffers latest Wednesday, 27th September, 2017.”
“That an emergency congress be held on Thursday to review their punishment or sanctions.”
According to journalists working in Edo State, while this is not the first time such allegation of fraudulent handling or admission of outright stealing of money provided for all journalists have been committed by the same group of criminal persons, it has become a regular criminal tendency with every major national or state election conducted in the state since 2012, for which punitive action was only being taken on Friday.