The Board of Trustees of the Imo State University Alumni Association has affirmed the election of a legal expert and Chieftain of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Chief Okey Ozumba, as the duly elected President of the Association. The Board which enjoys supervisory rights over the activities of the Association repudiated reports in some sections of the media, purporting that the Association is factionalized.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the Chairman of the Association’s Board of Trustees, Prince Chinedu Obi explained that the Association is an incorporated entity and operates in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). He regretted that some past officials of the Association are hellbent on destabilizing the Association through undue politicization and blackmail.
According to him; “We do not have factions in our Association. There is only one Acting President, who took over following the suspension of our former President, Prince Ferdinand Akano, and there is a President-elect and an incoming National Executive Council, whose election followed all laid down rules in our Constitution. The tenure of that National Executive Council shall kick off as soon as they are inaugurated.”
Shedding some light on the reason for the suspension of the erstwhile President of the Association, Prince Ferdinand Akano; “The 9-member Board of Trustees, having received series of complaints, resolved that the president should step aside while investigations are carried out by an independent panel made up of past Presidents of the Association and other respectable members of the Association into the allegations. The board set up a panel headed by two former presidents of the association, a renowned magistrate and accomplished entrepreneur to enable the suspended president clear himself of such grievous allegations bordering on financial malfeasance, abuse of office, etc. But he refused to appear before the panel. The recommendations of the panel empowered the board to sustain the indefinite suspension. It is unfortunate that the erstwhile President went ahead to arrogate the powers of the court to himself and declared himself president and has continued to parade as one,”.
Responding to an inquiry from one of the journalists to specify some of the actions for which the former President was suspended, he said; “The issues are basically about financial improprieties. It borders on illegal collection of alumni levies from graduating students of IMSU against the white paper of the state government banning such collection and a curious concession of 30% of that same amount to the university management. By the findings of the panel, these illegal fees had generated over 25 Million Naira, which is yet to be accounted for by the suspended President”.
On the election of the new executive of the Association, he had this to say;
“Following our constitution, the ten chapters of the Association carried out elections which were important preliminaries to the national election. It is embarrassing that the suspended president, in furtherance of his mischievous objectives, went ahead to organize his friends to declare him the president of Lagos chapter. This is completely at variance with our constitution. The essence of the briefing is to clarify that the suspended president is not the president of the association. The most painful part is that he goes about blackmailing members of the association, politicizing the process and carrying about propaganda that suggest that there is division within the alumni.
“But all the ten chapters of the alumni are still intact and unanimous in their election of Chief Okey Ozumba. We find the activities of the suspended president particularly offensive to the integrity of the association and inconsistent with our norms and values. Let me restate that such shenanigans of Prince Ferdinand Akano are not what Imo Stars are known for. We regret that such desperate efforts are being made by an Imo Star to taint the integrity of all alumni of the Association, by portraying us in bad light before the public.