The Correspondents Chapel in Edo State on Monday upheld the suspension of its executives and some members by the State Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) over alleged misappropriation of N5m meant for the union.
The embattled members include its Chairman, Simon Ebegbulem (Vanguard), Cajetan Mmuta (New Telegraph), Ehis Igbaugba, (News Agency of Nigeria) and Patrick Ochoga of Leadership Newspapers and Aliu of Guardian Newspapers.
Others are Tony Osauzo (Sun), Adibe Emenyonu (This Day), Adekunbi Ero (Tell) and Otabor Osagie of The Nation.
They were alleged to have shared the N5m the immediate past Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, gave to journalists in Benin as a parting gift. Each of them allegedly got N500,000. They have earlier been suspended by the state NUJ and asked to refund the said money.
The punitive action was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency congress by concerned members of the Chapel.
Correspondents Chapel comprises of journalists whose media organizations are not based in the State but were deployed to reports events in their areas of operation to their respective head offices.
The communique further explained that: “to prevent a vacuum in the leadership of the chapel, Mrs. Nefishetu Yakubu of NAN and Mr. Osaigbovo Iguobaro of Peoples Daily Newspaper were mandated by members to serve as Management Committee of the Chapel.
Other members of the Committee also included, Patrick Ahanor and Barnabas Uzosike of Blueprint and Vanguard Newspapers respectively.
In the communiqué endorsed by the Acting Chairman and Secretary, the Chapel asked Edo State government, the Police, Department of State Services (DSS) to take note of the development.
The communiqué further said “all commercial bank accounts belonging to the NUJ Correspondents chapel are frozen forthwith”.