IMSU ALUMNI CRISIS: BOT BACKS NEW EXCO
– CALLS FOR ARREST, PROSECUTION OF FORMER PRESIDENT
The Board of Trustees of the Imo State University Alumni Association has thrown its weight behind the newly elected executive committee of the body and regretted that the former president, Ferdinand Akano, has failed to clear himself of the alleged financial sleaze which had led to his indefinite suspension.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, the chairman of the board, Prince Chinedu Obi, stated that Akano has remained unrelenting in his attempt to hoodwink members of the public by still parading himself as president even after he has been removed from office. Obi described it as worrisome and insisted that such activities are inconsistent with their values and have tended to cast the association in a bad light.
According to him, “The 9-member board of trustees, having heard series of complaints, resolved that the president should go on suspension. The board set up a panel headed by two former presidents of the association, a renowned judge and accomplished entrepreneurs to enable the suspended president clear himself. But he refused to appear before the panel. The recommendations of the panel empowered the board to sustain the indefinite suspension. He went ahead to arrogate the powers of the court to himself and declared himself president and continues to parade as one,” Obi said.
He further explained that the board acted in compliance with section 26 of the association’s constitution which empowers it to sanction any member or chapter that errs.
“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 conceding 30% of that same amount to the university management. But what is allowed by our laws to concede as cost of collection is 20%, yet the president approved 30% for himself, and by the findings of the panel, monies have been collected to the tune of over N25 million,” he disclosed.
Obi also affirmed that the election which produced the new executive led by Barr. Okey Ozumba followed the provisions of its constitution. The alumni acting president, he revealed, set up the electoral committee that conducted the election in Enugu and all the ten chapters of the association participated in the process.
“Following our constitution, the various ten chapters carried out elections which were preparatory to the national election. But the suspended president went ahead to organize his friends to declare himself 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, and not part of what we are known to be. But what is clear today is that the board recognises the new exco led by Chief Barr. Okey Ozumba whose election followed the provisions of our constitution. Very soon, that exco will be officially inaugurated. The eight issues around the suspension of Akano have not been controverted,” he said.
Obi also alleged the complicity of the school management in the financial infractions and called on the law enforcement agencies to act quickly on the matter and bring all those involved to book.