-As court adjourns case May 17
Despite a pending suit instituted by Elder Lambert Ojukwu and six others, as claimant applicants against the Nigeria Union of Journalists and six others in respect of the 2018 inconclusive election of the Imo State Council of the union which came up last Thursday and was adjourned to May 17, 2022, there are worrisome indications that Chris Akaraonye who is believed to be a mole of the Imo State Commissioner for Information,Mr Declan Emelumba is planning to conduct election into various offices of the union in flagrant disregard of the suit still pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.
A legal practitioner who spoke to this reporter on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the duo of Akaraonye and Innocent Igwe who vandalized the Port Harcourt Road NUJ secretariat and carted away with valuables in the building complex are already jail birds.He stated that their current plot to appoint non-practitioners like Akaraonye to factionalize the Imo NUJ despite a pending case in court will further worsen their case as they and others on this voyage may end up in jail.
Investigation by this reporter revealed that Declan Emelumba who is said to be bent on destabilizing and polarizing the Imo State Council of NUJ, with a view to foisting his stooges and surrogates is working hard to constitute another set of chorous singers to factionalize the Union.
It would be recalled that though, there was a stalemate at the triennial delegate congress of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council, they held in
2018,credentials committee headed by Eze Adiukwu had already declared Emma Odibo of Announcer Express Newspaper winner of the position of Vice Chairman, while Chris Ogbonna of federal information chapel and Ezenwa Ngere of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation IBC were declared elected for the offices of Financial Secretary and Auditor respectively.
It is on record that only four positions namely Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer were yet to be concluded prior to the inauguration of the Francis Ebonugwu-led caretaker committee.
At this point, Elder Lambert Ojukwu of Newspoint Newspaper Chapel who contested for the position of Chairman Imo state council of the NUJ and six others approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Owerri, to seek redress over the refusal of the Credential Committee led by Adiukwu to conclude an election from which three out of seven officers had already emerged as duly elected.
Majority of journalists in the state, including veterans have expressed concern over the possible outcome of the Information Commissioner, Emelumba’s interference in the affairs of the union and the determination of Chris Akaraonye’s dissident group to conduct election despite a subsisting suit that borders on unresolved issues that are subjects of litigation.
“Emelumba’s divide and rule tactics is no doubt aimed at weakening the Imo NUJ and make it unable to perform its constitutional role of holding those in authority accountable to the people.”