The Ms Jasesola Ajibola-led executive council of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State Chapter, has been dissolved by critical stakeholders in the association over alleged gross misconduct, insubordination, hiring of fake journalists, as well as unethical and unprofessional conduct.
The Concerned 50 Members of NAWOJ in Oyo State of NUJ that suspended the Jadesola Ajibola-led executive, met for three hours on Thursday December 14, 2023, at Dapo Aderogna Hall, NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The meeting was attended by NAWOJ leaders including former Chairperson; ex-State and national officers and members in Oyo State across chapels of the union with resolutions of the emergency NAWOJ congress forwarded to the NUJ National Secretariat; NAWOJ National Secretariat; Oyo State NUJ; State Labour Unions; Police Commissioner, Director of DSS and all the media houses.
They also unanimously nominated and appointed three-member Caretaker Committee headed by Bola Okanlawon (State Ministry of Information Chapel) as Chairperson while both Josephine Oluwabunmi of BCOS Chapel and Oluwayemisi Owonikoko of FRCN chapel are Secretary and member, respectively.
The committee was saddled with the responsibility of unifying the ailing Association and conduct a free, fair and credible election within the next theee months.
The resolutions issued at the end of the meeting read in part: “We, the undersigned members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and from across Chapels of our dear Union, today Thursday, December 14, 2023, converged on the Dapo Aderogba Hall of the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan, and deliberated on wide ranging issues, bordering on our Association and its leadership.
The meeting deliberated extensively on a number of topical issues. After painstaking and extensive discussions of the State of our Association, we resolved as follows:
(1) That NAWOJ remains an affiliate of NUJ and we remain irrevocably committed to the Constitution of the Union, which expressly states that you must first and foremost be a member of NUJ before you can be a bonafide member of NAWOJ.
(a) To this end, we are seriously disturbed to hear from our embattled Chairperson, Ms Jadesola Ajibola vide a letter signed by her lawyer, L.L. Akanbi, Esq (Principal Partner, Liberty Chambers, Ibadan) and dated December 7th 2023, that NUJ and NAWOJ are separate entities with equal rights under the law.
(b) Jadesola Ajibola averred in her lawyer’s five-page letter that “…it is irrational that a Committee would be established by another organisation to investigate the activities that goes on in NAWOJ when the NAWOJ is not a subject of the NUJ but an independent organisation with equal rights as NUJ…”
(c) That (b above) was one of the very many appalling reactions of Jadesola Ajibola in reaction to a response by the NUJ Ethics and Disciplinary Committee over allegations bordering on official corruption, using Bank Application to transfer NAWOJ funds to her family members and cronies; as against the official arrangement that recognises three signatories.
(d) The Committee had also in their December 6, 2023 letter to intimate her of three petitions signed by some of us against her misconduct, demanded her to come forward and address other issues; that Jadesola Ajibola was running a chapel (Inspiration FM) with non-qualified members and have paid no dime to the union for years as check-off dues as well as annual professional and practicing fees. Check Article 4 (1a & 2a, respectively bordering on members’ financial status and penalties therein).
(e) That we alleged her of gross misconduct, insubordination, hiring of fake journalists, unethical and unprofessional conduct during the last NAWOJ triennial national delegates conference cum election in Abuja, recently.
(f) That she desecrated the office of national leaders of the Union, including Zone F National Trustee, Zonal Leaders and Oyo State Council leaders, respectively during the said NAWOJ election in Abuja.
(2) That to our utmost dismay, Jadesola Ajibola resorted to externalise these serious issues, bordering on integrity, credibility and dignity of her personality by involving a lawyer with the utmost aim of approaching a court to subject our Union, Association and the Leaders to ridicule … and the NUJ Constitution frowns at this (check Article 7 (2 vi) which hammers on the need to explore internal mechanism to resolving issues and is therefore guilty of Article 7 (2d) which expressly stated that the person shall automatically be suspended from the Union. Our Constitution also states that any member, who failed to explore this and resorted to litigation stands suspended from the Union activities.
1. That without prejudice to the ongoing investigation and findings of the NUJ Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, the undersigned 50 members of Oyo NAWOJ this day, Thursday, December 14, 2023 suspended and dissolved Jadesola Ajibola-led Executive of NAWOJ in Oyo State.
2. That the Zonal Leaders in consultation with the National Chairperson of NAWOJ approve this recommendation with a view of instilling discipline in NAWOJ, so that it can serve as deterrent to other erring members in the future.
3. That since Inspiration FM Chapel has defaulted in payment of check-off due and professional fee in line with Article 4 of the NUJ Constitution, Jadesola Ajibola, who is a member of this Chapel is no longer a financial member.
4. That Jadesola Ajibola, and Secretary of NAWOJ in the state, Stella Oyebanji, who alongside other executive members of Oyo NAWOJ, perfected importation of fake journalists as delegates in the recently concluded national election should be dissolved to ensure that sanity prevails in Oyo NAWOJ.
5. That a three-man Caretaker Committee is hereby constituted to run the affairs of NAWOJ until another election will be conducted by the NAWOJ National Secretariat. The meeting nominated and unanimously appointed these NAWOJ members; Comrades Bola Okanlawon of the State Ministry of Information Chapel (Chairperson); Damola Orioke of the BCOS Chapel (Secretary) and Oluwayemisi Owonikoko of the FRCN Chapel (Member), respectively.
6. That the Dissolved Jadesola-led Executive should hand over the property of the Association in their possession to the Oyo NAWOJ Caretaker committee now headed by Comrade Bola Okanlawon. The security agencies and other stakeholders in Oyo state should therefore note this change in our association and they should stop relating with Jadesola Ajibola-led Executive as from today 14th December, 2023.
Signed: (Check Attached list of Members),” their statement added.