JUST IN: Despite forgery scandal, Isiguzo beats odds to emerge NUJ president

CHRISTOPHER Isiguzo, ThisDay journalist and two-time vice president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), has defeated six other aspirants to emerge as the union’s president-elect, despite damning allegations of certificate forgery.

    The ICIR gathered that the election took place on Thursday night at the ongoing sixth triennial delegates’ conference held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, which hosts over 900 journalists.

    Other contenders for the top seat included AbdulWaheed Odusile, the incumbent national president, Jacob Edi, Dele Atunbi, U.S.A. Urzaka, Abiodun Olalere, and Mike Aladenika.

    Announcing the results, Benson Upah, the returning officer, said Isiguzo polled a total of 346 votes, while Odusile trails closely behind with 329 votes. Also, Atunbi had a total of 101 votes, Olalere 56, Edi 16, and Aladenika 8.

    On Tuesday, The ICIR had confirmed allegations that he forged some of his certificates, including an HND from The Federal Polytechnic, Oko, and a diploma in public administration from Hyles-Anderson College, United States.

    When Isiguzo was contacted, he had alleged that Odusile paid for the online reports against him so as to ensure he loses at the election. He also said, based on consultations with his lawyers, he had decided not to comment further on the allegation until the NUJ had conducted the election.

    Following the allegations, ThisDay Newspapers, where he works as South East Bureau chief, terminated his appointment as they found out he was “very economical with the truth” in his application.

    However, hours later, the media organisation reversed the decision to sack him following a directive from Nduka Obaigbena, founder and chairman of paper.

    Attempts to get a statement from Dahiru Garba Muhammed, chairman of the NUJ Credentials Committee, were unsuccessful as calls placed to his phone were unanswered.

    'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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