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Imo aggrieved printers allege rigging of association’s election



Aggrieved members of the Association of Professional Printers of Nigeria (ASSPPON) Owerri Chapter have protested against the results of the election held two weeks ago (August 3, 2013) at Bonanza Hotels Owerri.

They alleged that the election which saw Mr. Sunday Agwu declared as chairman-elect, was heavily rigged and characterized by irregularities.

In a six-point letter of protest against the conduct of the election addressed to the Legal Adviser of the Association, Barr. Xris S. Ogbodo and signed by Hon. Jonathan C. Okoro, Mr. Boniface Aguocha and Mr. Paul O. Ibe, the aggrieved members called for a re-run of the polls.  The letter listed Hon. Joe Mankpa (Patron), Mr. Bonny Aguocha (Patron) and Mr. Paul Ibe as representing the aggrieved members.

They alleged that the Electoral Committee on 23rd July “wrote letters of invitation to the election to all patrons acknowledging them as full-fledged members as well as those worthy of accreditation/voting in their second paragraph of the said letter” but were not allowed to vote on the Election Day.

The aggrieved members described the election as “full of irregularities, discrepancies, including all forms of electoral malpractices which resulted in disfranchisement and rigging.

“We the ASSPPON members vehemently protest and appeal that ASSPPON Owerri Chapter election held on 3rd August 2013 be declared null and void through your able advice and a re-run election be conducted for all the aspirants in the various posts contested on the following grounds: The election remains inconclusive since the tenets of the posters/invitation letters given to patrons were not kept by the Electoral Committee, which handed the letter to us as their format/yardstick for conducting the election.  Also the Electoral Committee in their disfranchisement and rigging manner did not allow patrons who have contributed immensely to the growth of the association their voting rights as enshrined in the drafted constitution of ASSPPON.

Those present who qualified but were not allowed to vote included two strong pioneer members of ASSPPON, Mr. Bonny Aguocha and Mr. T.E. Anosike.   Mr. Uche Nwafor and Mr. Eddy Okere who were also qualified were denied the right to vote for candidates of their choice.  The aggrieved printers also accused the committee of corruption and playing double standards as they allowed someone to vote for Mr. Nwanebu Anthony, who was absent and refused anyone to vote for Miss Nwojudo Okonye, who was equally absent but qualified.  They also alleged that Mr. Rasheed Olawale, who had not yet completed his registration formalities, was unlawfully allowed to vote.

The aggrieved printers alleged that while committing all these irregularities, the committee members “cleverly accredited themselves and voted for the candidates of their choice while at the same time omitted the names of some qualified members from the list of voters.

Based on the foregoing, the petitioners demanded that Mr. Sunday Agwu should neither parade himself as Chairman-elect nor be sworn in so as to give peace a chance.

They demanded for immediate re-run of the elections within 30 days, failing which they will petition ASSPPON Headquarters in Abuja, institute criminal proceedings against the Electoral Committee and sue them for damages to ASSPPON members as well as to the image of the association.

Reacting to the protest letter, Mr. Sunday Agwu, the declared chairman-elect denied that the election was characterized by fraud and irregularities, describing it as free and fair to the best of his knowledge.  He further said that none of those who contested the election was signatory to the protest letter.

It would be recalled that the Returning Officer, Mr. Oscar Ejims had at the end of the counting of votes declared Mr. Sunday Agwu chairman-elect having polled 21 votes while his rival Mr. Ignatius Nwachukwu had 19 votes.  They had tied 21/21 votes in the first ballot while Mr. Robert Azubuike had 2 votes only.  Others declared officers-elect are: Shack Ogbonna-Vice-Chairman, Mishark Nwosu-Secretary, Carol Nwoha-Assistant Secretary, Ahunna Chukwuma-Financial Secretary and Bright Nyia-Treasure, Ogbonna Obiora-PRO. Justice Anyanwu, Francis Onyeka and Rasheed Olawale-Provosts 1,2 and 3 respectively.



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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