Ijaw National Congress president removed from office

Gabriel Enogholase

13 November 2011, Sweetcrude, BENIN – THE National Representative Council, NRC, made up of the representatives of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, has removed the National President of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, Prof. A.W. Obianime, from office for alleged gross misconduct and financial misdemeanor .

His removal from office according to the leader of an investigating panel set up by the INC to look into the various alleged sins of Prof. Obianime, Prof. Kimse Okoko, a former INC President was in accordance with Article 23 (3) of the Constitution of the INC.

In a letter to the Leader, National Representative Council, Ijaw National Congress, the panel has recommended that the Vice-President should continue to act pending the election of a substantive President.

Prof. Obianime, the panel further recommended should refund the various sums of money misappropriated by him to the coffers of the INC just as it blamed the Treasurer of the INC for allowing himelf to be used as a willing tool of the INC President’s financial excesses.

“He is therefore culpable for some of the acts of gross misconduct and should be investigated”, the panel said.

Parts of the allegations against Prof. Obianime were among others his refusal to set up the various statutory organs and Committees of Congress, NRC, Conference of Ijaw Traditional Rulers and Elders etc, and refusal to print or publish the approved draft constitution of Congress of 2009 despite repeated reminders and resolution by NEC members.

He was also accused of financial recklessness in the disbursement of funds of Congress without any regard to proper accounting procedures just as he was accused of not rending annual financial accounts to NEC because of the difficulty of getting detailed information on what comes in and what goes out.

The INC President was accused of signing tow different MOU’s which deals with the agreement with two different companies for lifting of oil block.

The panel said that although there was nothing illegal about the transaction, “it was disappointing however, and that the Agreements were entered into with the President’s name, instead of a company owned by the Congress. This brings into question the intention or motive for the transaction. Anyway, it became clear that the transactions were shrouded with total secrecy as no disclosure was ever made to Exco. If that was not nauseating enough, figures were inflated by the president as monies paid for services rendered by Companies and Solicitors. The Solicitors in particular denied in writing being paid the amount the President claimed to have paid’.

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