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24 Oct 2018

Abuja Chapel Election Was Free And Fair, Itodo Tells NUJ National Secretariat

Newly elected executives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Chapel, have entreated the National Secretariat of the union over an "unlawful nullification of elections" of the chapel by the FCT Council.

The new executives of the union led by Yemi Itodo, a staff of Daily Post, who emerged as the new Chairman of Abuja NUJ, are demanding that the national body approve the election that saw them emerge, stating that the October 20th election was free and fair.

The election, which produced Itodo as chairman, was nullified by the acting Chairman of FCT Council, Primus Khaloba, seven hours after the result was announced, on the premise that he received a petition from some aggrieved members of the union about the election.

In a petition to the national secretariat, Itodo maintained that there was no ground for the acting Chairman of FCT Council to nullify the election. He added that there was evidence to back the smooth conduct of the election.

He said: “That the said pronouncement of the acting Chairman of FCT Council to nullify our election, without any ground was illegal, unprofessional and an affront on the noble profession;

“That the evidence of the election and announcement of result, which is in public domain, including the Civil Society Organisations, the security agencies and probably the international community, is enough reason for anyone not to scuttle our mandate, as that would bring our noble profession to public opprobrium.”

In his response to the Khaloba's claims that some members of the union submitted a petition against the election, Itodo stated that the petition has not been provided for anyone to see nor react to.

“We were not availed the opportunity of reading, not to talk of responding to. The credential committee was not even allowed to talk at the Congress; neither was any of us given the opportunity of fair hearing. No appeal panel was set up to look into whatever issues raised through the said petition. As we speak, no one, except the writer and the recipient know the content of the 'ghost petition.”

Itodo and the elected executives enjoined the national secretariat to “uphold their election and proceed to inaugurate them having emerged through a validly conducted election on Saturday and as such stood declared and returned", adding that, "the FCT Council be quickly called to order, to stay further action on the proposed elections of Saturday, 27th October, 2018, as our election cannot be said to be inconclusive".

Aside Itodo, the October 20 election produced Mr. Raphael Oni of Diplomat Magazine as Secretary; Lesley Otu of The Source as Treasurer; Samson Adebayo of ONTV emerged the Auditor while Collins Ajibola of Kiss FM emerged as Deputy Chairman of the Chapel.

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