The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) says the awards given to some persons by a group of Lagos-based sports writers were in disregard of a court order and therefore fraudulent.
The NUJ Lagos State Council, in a statement by the Chairman, Adeleye Ajayi, and Secretary, Tunde Olalere, on Tuesday in Lagos said the group illegally constituted themselves into a caretaker committee.
“Our attention was drawn to the spate of awards being given by some people, who illegally constituted themselves into caretaker committee of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Lagos State.
“It was shocking to read in the news of the award given to the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, by the purported caretaker committee group.
“Therefore, we have decided to inform members of the public that the Debo Osundun-led executive committee of Lagos SWAN was duly sworn in by the Council on March 26, 2021 and it is also duly recognised by the national secretariat of NUJ,” the council said.
It noted that it was unfortunate that while the NUJ leadership was making efforts to return peace and harmony to Lagos SWAN, some people were bent on creating problems.
“Moreso, in view of the legal suit between the Debo Osundun-led executive committee and the self-proclaimed caretaker committee, giving award at this time is pure contempt of court.
“We, therefore, urge government officials and other members of the public to disregard any award from any SWAN caretaker committee,” the NUJ said.
Meanwhile, several Lagos SWAN members have reacted to the purported award given to Lagos Speaker by the illegal group calling itself “caretaker committee”.
Dapo Sotuminu, a former Lagos SWAN executive committee member, described the award as fraudulent, wondering what manner of award would be given by an illegal group.
“It’s total nonsense from an illegal Caretaker Committee set up by SWAN Incorporated, which is different from SWAN under the national NUJ.
“It’s a shame. Lagos SWAN should declare all the actors persona non grata,” he said.
Damilola Fadugba, a female member of SWAN, said it was unfortunate that an illegal group could deceive the Speaker with their fake award.
For Ifeanyi Chukwuma, it was not possible for an award to be given out by Lagos SWAN to people without the approval of the full congress.
Another member, Festus Omoruyi, noted that the persons in the photograph taken where the award was given to the Speaker were not members of SWAN in Lagos.
He therefore called on those close to the Speaker to inform him of the illegality of the award so that he could reject same.(NAN)