-NAWOJ President, Ifeyinwa Omowole, explains how $227,000 association fund was spent.
-She describes her intention to leave behind a worthy legacy after her tenure as NAWOJ president.
No case of NAWOJ fund misappropriation, association president declares.
The National President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole has denied allegations claiming she misappropriated the association’s housing fund.
A statement issued on Sunday by Omowole, described the report which accused her of embezzling $227,000 meant for housing units for members of the association as false.
Earlier reports that emerged had accused the NAWOJ boss of withdrawing almost all the money from the dollar account of the organization.
However, according to statements of account sited by our correspondent, a total sum of $227,000 was withdrawn from the association’s dollar account on March 31, 2016 and a total sum of N70,256,000 was deposited in multiples of N10,000,000 in the Naira account of the association on the same day.
Providing further explanation on the development, Omowole explained that at the time when ecchange rate was between 308 and 309, the association needed to convert the money into naira at the rate of 309.5 naira to a dollar in order to pay the local contractor in naira since the initial agreement had failed.
This project started in 2015, contributions commenced around March/April 2015.
“After the association missed the opportunity of the foreign funds due to incomplete counterpart fund, NAWOJ agreed with the executives of NUJ Lagos Council to find indigenous developers, which we did.
“After some meetings with the indigenous developer, Prime Water Views, who we found out had built over 1000 units of houses, even for cooperative societies, we agreed to change the money to Naira since we were billed in Naira by the developer.”
“The mandate letter to exchange the funds to Naira was duly signed by authorised signatories. Funds were disbursed to the developer as appropriate with Lagos NUJ executives and NAWOJ National representatives to the developer, to omo onile (the original owners of the land ) while legal and surveyors’ fees were also paid.”
“I stand bold to say that there was no misappropriation of funds. The matter was addressed during two stakeholders’ meetings in April 2016.
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“The stakeholders were satisfied with the steps we had taken and the documentary evidence we had shown and therefore approved for the project to be continued,” she said.
The NAWOJ president stressed that her vision for the association was to see women journalists own affordable houses and her objective is to leave a worthy legacy.
“Pen Jewel Estate is a reality. The economic challenge in the country may have slowed development of the project but it will certainly not affect execution and completion.
“Journalists work hard and deserve the best, that is what NUJ/NAWOJ intend to offer by His grace”, she added.
Source: Naija News