The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) has urged the federal government to order its agency especially, Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to patronise Licensed printers.
CIPPON also seek the government to prevail on the Minister of Information to stop their agents from frustrating the smooth running of the Institute.
The CIPPON president, Mr Malomo Olugbemi made it known at a press conference in Lagos that the whole brouhaha happening within the body of printers are ways of corruption fighting back, using the Judiciary and the Federal Ministry of Information through the Federal Government Printer, Mr Ittu Tommy Ittu.
According to Malomo, “he said the industry is facing challenges that are truncating what we have achieved so far. There are some printers in Abuja, coming up with an illegal act to intrude the industry affairs due to their selfish interest in government jobs”
“When we came on board as members of the governing council of the institute, we set in motion plans, including a strategic framework that will turn the industry into a business ecosystem where the benefit that accrues from the industry will be a benefit for all.
“We came up with campaigns such as: Let Nigerian printing jobs remain in Nigeria and Printing jobs for printers only as a survival strategy targeted at government MDAs.”
In response, he alleged that some big printers especially in Abuja are using the courts and the Federal Ministry of Information to destabilize the printing industry in Nigeria because the Institute challenged the status quo in the industry and called them to accountability.
Trouble started in 2021 when the Institute’s election was stopped through a court injunction by one Jumoke Owoeye, claiming that she was disenfranchised, “even though her name was on the voters’ list.”
When the case was dismissed, and another election conducted, the same Owoeye went to court in Jalingo, Taraba State, to obtain another injunction stopping the election on the premise that the council had overstayed its tenure.
“Surprisingly, on September 21, 2022, a judgement was awarded against us unexpectedly, sacking the council and barring members from contesting in a future election.
“The court also asked a co-defendant in the suit, among those sacked, who was nominated as one of the Minister of Information’s 5 nominees, by name Tommy Ittu, to run the affairs of the Institute and conduct an election within three months.
“In spite of the fact that the judgment was immediately challenged by the filing of an appeal and stay of execution of the judgment on 23 September 2022, and the Minister and Mr. Ittu served on 29 September 2022, Mr. Ittu went ahead to proclaim himself Sole Administrator. There is no such provision in the Act that set up the Institute. Even the role of the Minister is clearly spelt out.
Malomo added that Mr. Ittu went ahead, ignoring the notice of appeal and stay of execution served him to write to the Institute’s bankers asking that the account be suspended.
“He also issued a paid press release in a national newspaper, giving 24-hour notice of the election and introducing a delegate system which is foreign to the provision of the Act and thereby opening the door for non-members of the Institute to be part of the election.
Concurrently, the trial judge for our appeal at the Jalingo High Court has been transferred. The information we have is that he left with the records thereby frustrating our appeal. CIPPON believes all these are being done in a bid for corruption and status quo fighting back”, Malomo said.
Story by: Emmanuel Adedayo