4 Borno NUJ officials resign over N12m land scandal

Four members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Borno state chapter, Tuesday, tendered their resignation to their respective chapels.

Their resignation followed what they described as a breach of trust and direct attempt to ruin their integrity by the Bulama Talba-led executive.

Bulama Talba, a director in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Culture is currently the Director of Press Affairs at the office of the state governor, Alhaji Umar Usman Kadafur.

He was alleged to have connived with his secretary, Comrade Ibrahim Mohammed of Maiduguri NTA Zonal Network Centre, and the auditor of the union, Alhaji Habib Saleh, an Information Officer at the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, to sell four plots of land at the cost of N12 million out of the 12 plots allocated to the union as permanent site by former Governor Kashim Shettima.
The land is located on the Maiduguri-Biu road within the metropolis, allegedly sold to a Borno indigene without the knowledge of the other four aggrieved officials, and the state executive council (SEC).

The four aggrieved officials who jointly issued their resignation said they were forced to quit following the scandal.

The aggrieved NUJ officials who tendered their resignation letter are; Babagana Bukar of Borno Radio and Television (BRTV) who was the vice chairman of the union, and Mrs Hauwa Bata of Peace FM Maiduguri, a Treasurer.

Others are Chiroma Ali Ibrahim of Peace FM who was the assistant secretary and Mr. Dauda Iliya of Radio Nigeria, a member of the Correspondents’ Chapel who was the financial secretary of the union.
In an internal memo which was presented to the national secretariat and all the seven chapels making up the council, dated Monday, January 23, 2022, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent reads in part:

“We will like to bring into the kind notice of members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Borno state about a scandalous act in which the Chairman of our great union, Comrade Bulama Talba connived with the Secretary as well as the Auditor and sold four plots of NUJ land near Bakasi housing estate, Maiduguri Borno state.

“The trio without consulting the remaining state council officials, wrote a letter dated 15th October, 2021 to NUJ National Secretariat seeking approval to sell 2 plots of the land for the purpose of fencing the entire NUJ land, alleging that Borno state government is planning to revoke the property if not developed and was granted approval on the 20th October.

“After long interrogation, the Secretary, Mohammed Ibrahim confessed that they sold four instead of the two plots earlier approved by the National Secretariat at the cost of N12 million and shamelessly shared N11 million among the three of them, while N1 million was sent to the National Secretariat as check up dues.”

Meantime, at the end of the SEC meeting which was attended by chairmen and secretaries of the seven chapels, the trio have agreed to refund the money for peace to reign.

Credit: Blueprint Newspaper

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