The news that the imposing Secretariat of the Imo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) known as Imo NUJ Secretariat situated along Port Harcourt Road Owerri is about being leased to an interested buyer despite the fact that the union is in court over an alleged “inconclusiveness” of the Union’s election, is now in public domain.
Though the purported Imo state leadership of NUJ had through a statement made public recently debunked the rumour but some quarters have it that the deal has since been sealed and those involved are doing everything possible to divert attention, or play down on the matter.
It was gathered that the premises which could not be put in order by the said leadership of Imo NUJ headed by Mr. Chris Akaraonye, who as gathered retired as a photographer from the Ministry of Information Owerri decided to lease it for 50 years at N20M after the initial outright sale plan could not sail through and that part of the lease fee has been paid, with a condition to be completed after the union must have packed out, not leaving a pin from the premises.
Accusing fingers are already being pointed at a former governor of the state Rochas Okorocha and his son-in-law whose inordinate craze for acquisition of property knows no bounds and who are fronting an agent now boasting that he is in possession of the Secretariat’s Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and collaborated by the National President of NUJ, Deacon Chris Isiguzo who allegedly wants to use the money to complete his hometown mansion.
Some members of the union who commented on the matter expressed shock over the lease story, adding that there was no time a Stakeholders’ meeting or an enlarged Congress of the union was convened on the matter and that the union has been in court since 2019 over Isiguzo’s unpopular order(then as National Vice President of South East NUJ) to stop their election halfway even though three candidates had already emerged from the election.