by crossriverwatch admin
The intractable crises rocking the National Association of Cross River State Students, NACRISS-Worldwide continues to deepen as more facts emerge on the shenanigans that have characterized the administration of the once influential umbrella body of Cross River State students across the world.
Bar. Gilbert Agbor, the erstwhile legal adviser of the Union who resigned and the Union’s Emeritus President, Comrade Ubi Emmanuel both disclosed to CrossRiverWatch exclusively that they are disgruntled with the attitude and manner in which Comrade Philomina Agweye, the incumbent NACRISS President, who incidentally is Ubi’s successor, is running the affairs of Nacrites.
In defense of Agweye’s allegation that the duo are ganging up against her administration using her exco, Both of them also admitted that the incumbent President was made President according to orders from above
BARRISTER GILBERT AGBOR
CrossRiverWatch: You were on the election ground the day NACRISS WW election was conducted at Hope Wadel Training Institute, what was your role and rumors have it that Philomina Agweye was imposed on the people by the state first lady, how true is that?
Bar. Gilbert: “The State PDP Secretary Mr. Godwin Etta had told me clearly that the first lady has no interest what so ever in the election but he wish a woman be president if there is a woman amongst men, it was Philo that was using the first lady’s name as a campaign strategy to call for support. He never asked us to rig any election but to give support in whatever manner we could to her”.
CrossRiverWatch: You casually told our reporter that Comrade Agweye pleaded with you to intercede and put up an appeal for tenure elongation?
Bar. Gilbert: “The last time she came to me she came with Emmanuel Oboh pleading that I should put up an appeal to the students because I’m influential to them, that they should grant her approval to stay in office till the 2015 governorship election is conducted then I told her I cannot rubbish myself by doing that and by saying the truth I’m fighting her”.
CrossRiverWatch: She alleged that you collected 900, 000 from her to settle the dispute in the union and you are the team leader of those opposing her, how true is it?
Bar. Gilbert: “I challenge her to publicly produce records where she gave me money but her exco members will categorically state when and how I do give the union financial support. Instead of planning how to render accounts to Nacrites she is campaigning to extend her stay in office even when she is not a good president in this her one year. It’s the turn of the South, any delay in handing over is detrimental to the southerners and some of us are zoning faithfuls. She is the worst president this union has ever had and will by God’s grace. How can a mere legal adviser whose services are gratuitous to the union be able to parade over 50 students for a protest against a nincompoop like Philo, she’s bad, evil; the students don’t love her, she steals from them their money, she stole their television and refrigerator from what I’m told. She hasn’t accounted for these things, she has never accounted for any money that comes into the union. She’s accusing me of 900, 000 for the first three months, what about the other 9 months plus money?
“She has come to my place over ten times accompanied by several persons pleading that I should wade into the matter and also plead with her exco to allow her keep the money she has already stolen and that she will repent thereafter which I told her no, she must be accountable”.
CrossRiverWatch: Why was the election conducted in the manner it was?
Bar. Gilbert: “You see the PA to the governor on students’ affair, Hillary Bisong had vested interest in Philo. Prior to the end of the past administration, I tendered my resignation letter which Ubi refused to recognize pleading that I need to escort him out of office because I am one of those who made his government successful. He got a bus, furnished secretariat, increased subvention from one hundred thousand naira to five hundred thousand and a host of others through my advice and I reconsidered and waited till he handed over.
“I don’t appropriate money, it is Hillary that does so, he paid the security agents, it was his idea and if there was anything then like flogging of Nacrites, it’s him that sponsored them, I am a mere adviser cum ceremonial member of the union”.
CrossRiverWatch: Are you saying that you did not stand with the PA and the electoral officers to announce the results on CRBC as the forum of chapter presidents claims in their petition to the governor?
Bar. Gilbert: “I did not stand side by side with the PA and electoral body to announce any result, I knew however that there was severe irregularities but for strategic reasons we refused to go publicly to condemn the irregularities having known that for the first time a girl is going to be the president of the union, Obudu has been marginalized, let it be and we wished the union well at that time. I had said the process is faulty and I cannot participate in such. I was director of welfare then while in school and a sole administrator of NACRISS WW and now legal adviser which made me a life member of the union, this is my first time of been outwardly insulted by some miscreant”.
CrossRiverWatch: She said you and your cohorts are fighting her because you want her to dance to the tune of a music she considers bad and refused?
Bar. Gilbert: “How I’m I fighting her, someone is getting everything wrong. You get money for the union and misappropriate it, when money is collected for the union it ought to be handed over to the financial secretary/treasurer as the case may be but Philo collects money and go home without the consent of her exco. Her exco will tell you that she has never given me a dime, I have never asked for but rather I donate money to the union”.
CrossRiverWatch: What is the possible solution?
Bar. Gilbert: “The solution to the crisis lies in the structure of the union, first the PA to the governor on students affairs suppose to oversee some of the crisis in the union and advise them but he is not doing so, rather he is interested in sharing whatever comes to the union with the girl, when Ubi Emmanuel was in office there was a lot of problem between him and the office of the PA and there are lots of letters to that effect. I remember Hon. Mboto who works in governor’s office had to call them for peace talk and I recall vividly that he advised Hillary to stay off students’ money. Hillary said he usually shares the money with Nkanu an accountant in governor’s office and Nkanu refuted it openly and revealed that it is on Hillary’s instruction that when the governor gives the union its five hundred thousand Hillary gives them three and keep two, the entire government house knows this fact. At some point we attended a meeting with the Chief of Staff of the state, Chief Alex where Don Clems Ename who doubles as the SA to the governor on Youth Affairs was present and the chief of staff condemned Hillary for doing all of that but strangely the sharing formula continued, maybe that is why he facilitated the bringing in of a woman as the president. The solution is that the union’s money stolen should be paid, the PA should stop sharing the students money after collecting his salary and imprest, the government should start paying union’s money into the union’s bank account not handing it to someone”.
COMRADE UBI EMMANUEL, EMERITUS PRESIDENT
CrossRiverWatch: Can you give us a brief history of the crisis rocking the union you?
Comrade Ubi: “When they came into office the president went to collect the sum of one hundred thousand naira from commissioner of information and told her exco members its fifty thousand naira, she goes on secret courtesy visits without the knowledge of her executives, last year they paid the emeritus provost of CRS College of Education Akamkpa, Prof. Owan Eno now Vice Chancellor Cross River University of Technology and collected some money without disclosing to her exco and this caused a lot of problems among themselves. That same month (August 2013) that this visit was paid, the monthly subvention of three hundred thousand naira she, Philomina collected alone and gave two thousand naira each to her exco, and the problems of money became too much that we had to convene for a stakeholders meeting where a sharing formula was adopted to her dismay.
“She also collected that of October, November and December amounting to nine hundred thousand naira, which she shared according to her own sharing formula outside the consensus formula, she has about six appointees, when she collected this money she sacked them without any cause and ate their allowance, she also ate the sixty thousand meant for the legal adviser accrued to him for that three months”.
CrossRiverWatch: You said you’re disgruntled with her why?
Comrade Ubi: “My anger now is that January, February and March (900, 000) subvention was also collected by her, the other exco approached her to ascertain what to do but the greatest shock met them as she said the money has been used by her to print note books without their knowledge. But it will surprise you to know that the so called book project was dropped by the exco reason being that the project is not water tight to the standard/strata of the union but agreed that they should organize a fund raising program for the book and other projects.
“During my tenure I was owed nine month bus maintenance allowance which is nine hundred thousand and it was paid to her when her exco again approached her she denied collecting any money. The state government gives the union one hundred thousand naira for bus maintenance and five hundred for running of the union’s affairs. And she also collected that of April and May (600, 000) and also denied doing so but her exco found out she had been lying and these triggered the 18 LGA presidents to converge and pass a vote of no confidence and suspend her pending the outcome of their investigations.
“The sitting president stole the plasma TV in the secretariat which I saw her but because I have refused to wine and dine with her she alleged that I am the thief, she is also saying that I am fighting her because she has refused to share money with me, but again that is a fat lie because I supported her to become the president and she is not leaving up to expectation which is why as her predecessor I am challenged to ensure that she is brought to book. My exco can confirm that during my time every officer plays their part to the fullest but here she is the all and all doing the job of the entire exco, I am not against her but her character, she has abuse womanhood because she is the first female president, I gave the union its present secretariat, the bus was my project, constitution and the subvention which was lifted one hundred thousand to five hundred thousand plus an additional one hundred thousand for bus and secretariat up keep, she will collect the five hundred thousand and the PA Students Affair, Mr. Hillary Bissong will take two hundred and leave three for the entire union. Each time she goes to collect money she will tell one or two lies that her co-exco in persons of the financial secretary and treasurer is either out of town or are having tedious academic activities that couldn’t allow them accompany her.
“What she told you in regards to nine hundred thousand is out of the bus allowance she collected not the subvention. Today I am at peace with my administration’s exco and during our time we hardly have such problems other than Emmanuel Ubi led executives versus PA student’s affairs because he is found of eating students’ money”.
CrossRiverWatch: She said you are the field marshal to Gilbert against her, how true is that?
Comrade Ubi: “The resigned legal adviser to the union Bar. Gilbert Agbor is too big to stoop so low to fight Philo when what he has given to the union right from my time till date is more than what our subvention can pay, she is only indicting him because he resigned and told Philo to her face that he cannot work with her until the union’s money she embezzled is returned, when you don’t support her she finds a way to accuse you and smear your name/reputation.
“She also circulated rumors that where I leave is part of the union’s annex and that I should pack out, Philo is a pathological liar, I paid one hundred and seventy thousand naira for two years, the secretariat rent expires on every August while mine is October. The rent business is between the PA students’ affairs, the state Chief of Staff and the land lord not with the president of the union, the up stairs was rented by the state government for the union while I took the down personally which was dully approved by the agent and the land lord”.
CrossRiverWatch: The first congress she had in Ogoja campus of CRUTECH was graced by only her and her Director of Information, what is your take on that?
Comrade Ubi: “The congress in Ogoja she held which only the Director of Information was present out of the entire exco members, she just woke up one day and told her executive members that tomorrow is the union’s congress in Ogoja and they were marveled as to where and when they as a team sat and fixed the congress which is why I believe they refused attending.
“After the resignation of Gilbert, Philo appointed a new legal adviser whom from December last year till date has not been paid and is furious challenging to take the union to court soon, more so the union +did not approve his appointment”.
CrossRiverWatch: How did she become the president?
Comrade Ubi: “It is directive from above that made her the president”.
CrossRiverWatch: What is the possible solution to these crises?
Comrade Ubi: “The solution to the crisis is that within this her suspension period she should redefine herself by returning all the union’s money and valuables she illegitimately took. She lies so much, she lacks self respect”.
COMRADE EDEN-AWAN, FINANCIAL SECRETARY
CrossRiverWatch: Your president accused you of squandering money meant for a project at Palladium Hotel on drinks and meat, what is your take on that?
Comrade Edem-Awan: “NACRISS WW is suppose to be a shelter for Cross River students, we did not pass through the election huddles just to come fight one person, the nine out of eleven of us that are aggrieved with her ordinarily wouldn’t if not her conduct, I will draw your attention to the petition I personally brought to the parliament in regal to a 900, 000 naira, I didn’t do that to be favored by anyone but to state how accountable I am to Nacrites.
“When you contacted her she gave you a sharing formula, let me recap that the said squandered nine hundred thousand naira was the subvention of January, February and March 2014 and the sharing formula you got was of October, November and December 2013. From that January to May money has been leaving the government house but we the exco has not seen a dime which makes it 1.5million naira. She received a 900, 000 for the bus and secretariat maintenance which we can’t find. From the day of our inauguration only she goes to sign for money not with me the financial secretary nor the treasurer, why then will she say there’s no money in the union.
“For the committee yes I was the chairman of the three man committee which comprised of me, Moses her former chief of staff and the union’s treasurer. Now she wants a project of exercise book for the students across the 18 LGA of the state and my question is if we at the World Wide level are doing a project of exercise books what will chapters do? And that ignited problem within the exco and we finally abandoned it to create another credible project. Because of troubles here and there the committee died a natural death. Let it be know that I have never collected any money officially from her in the name of the union, in a democratic union money is signed from the treasurer of financial secretary as the case may be but we including me the financial secretary was compelled to sign and collect my share of the subvention from the president because she claimed we can’t manage the money, it is surprising that she said she gave me money for the project we abandoned, the secretary and other committee members never knew and where did the money come from?
“The empowerment was done solely by me and the Director of Social; she at no point in time supported us with even a copy of the letters we wrote. We did it to wipe away shame from the union’s face so that it won’t be said that since inception it’s been only crisis. She doesn’t want to admit that she’s a failure that is why she claimed our project but I don’t mind sharing the glory with her”.
CrosRiverWatch: Why was your faction of the executive not present in the first congress of the union held in Okuku?
Comrade Edem-Awan: “We never talked about any congress as an exco, I was called about 3pm on Thursday, a day before the congress by the president and called the vice president at about 5pm I was with her then and the phone was on speaker when she asked her vice where she was that she’s coming to pick her and Juliet asked where she’s been taken to and Philo answered that we are having a congress”.
COMRADE UBI ONEN
CrossRiverWatch: Was bar. Gilbert Agbor with you people on CRBC TV when the NACRISS WW election was announced?
Comrade Ubi Onen: “Yes bar. Gilbert was one of us he was one of the witnesses, he appeared on CRBC with us and he did sign the result”.
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