The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Imo State University Alumni Association (IMSUAA) has cautioned all Nigerians to dissociate from the convention of the Association of Nigerian Universities Alumni (ANUA) 2020.
The BOT condemned the ANUA Conference slated for November 6-7, in the state, describing it as not only illegal, fraudulent and run by alleged impostors, but capable of breaching public peace.
The chairman of the board, Prince Chinedu Obi, who disclosed this in an interview with Global Sentinel, said the decision to hold the convention, was taken without the consent or approval of the BoT by the suspended National President, Prince Ferdinand Akano, who is still undergoing criminal investigation over financial fraud and Dr. Anayo Uhiara, the suspended National Secretary.
The chairman said the board has consequently requested the swift intervention of the Department of State Services (DSS), due to the tension already generated among over 2000 members. He said the insistence of the ANUA leadership to desperately proceed with the convention in collaboration with an already suspended president is suspicious and worrisome.
Obi also said the BoT in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is currently
investigating the recent unauthorized alumni levy collection to the tune of N25,000,000.00 by the suspended president.
The chairman also alleged attempts to reopen and launder trapped huge funds in then BankPHB now Polaris Bank, as against claims by the suspended president that the purported conference is “a great opportunity to showcase the hospitality and immense potentials of Imo State”
The chairman pointed out that over 2000 members of the alumni are aggrieved over the fact that the convention is being hosted in secrecy by “impostors” who are still undergoing investigation for fraud.
The Board had in a letter dated 1st April, 2020 suspend its national president. Obi said the president was suspended for about 8 reasons, which includes non compliance with the rules of regulations, collection of illegal fees from graduating students in the name of Alumni among several others.
Obi said the suspended president initially complied to the suspension notice, but after two days, resumed office claiming that the board has no constitutional power to suspend him as advised by his lawyer.
But, the chairman maintained that the constitution is the final authority in the association and the decision to suspend the president is unanimous as the motion suspending him was 9 over 9.
He quoted section 26 (j) of the amended constitution of IMSUAA and sighted by Global Sentinel which reads “The board may sanction with penalty any erring member, chapter or national officer and ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the constitution of the Association and be the final adjudicating body on conflict resolution within the association.” It read.
“By virtue of his suspension, his staying on office is illegal. The board is filing a suite stopping the convention he is organising, we are not a member of ANUA, the person organising it in our name is suspended. We have written to law enforcement agencies, we have done a disclaimer warning that anybody working with him is doing so illegally” Obi said.
The chairman noted that the AUNA initially disowned the letter inviting IMSUAA to host the convention, but later claimed that it was sent by its Local organising committee and has failed to retract, despite the disclaimer by the BoT distancing itself from the convention.
“We are trying to prevent a situation where aggrieved members will disturb the conference and resort to self help, this will create breach of public peace, we have to nip this in the bud.
“We want to tell Nigerians not to attend that conference because anybody coming is violating the law, we have filed an action in the Federal high court stopping the programme and all parties will be served. We don’t want a situation where somebody goes there and there is an issue and the board will be held responsible. The board is advising Nigerians to move away from it”, Obi said.
“As a responsible body, We are crying to the whole world that we are not part of this and we want everybody to shun it”, he stressed.
The chairman said the suspended president should follow legal procedures to seek any redress he dims fit, explaining that he is not a court to define the powers of the board.
“If he thinks the board does not possess power yo suspend him, he should have gone go court to challenge his suspension and not parade himself as the president”, Obi said.