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Tunji Ogunwusi urged to protect family name over journalists’ housing scam


Members staging a peaceful protest on Saturday.

Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Lagos Chapter at the weekend had a peaceful protest against the mismanagement of funds contributed towards the NAWOJ/NUJ Housing Scheme.

Members staged the peaceful protest at the end of the July Congress of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Council, and calling on the union leadership to stop playing politics with the issue by further foot-dragging on the matter.

NAWOJ’s National Chairperson, Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, claimed the $227,000.00 she withdrew from the UBA Dollar Account has been changed to naira, paid into Primewaters’ Account.

“This is in addition to another round of funds contributed by some subscribers again running into millions of naira.

I could remember the last time we met with the then Chairman of Primewaters, the company handling the matter, Prince Tunji Ogunwusi and was telling him to respect his royal lineage and he promised not to drag the family name in the mud.

“Unfortunately, this is what is playing out now. The souls of those who have died will continue to cry out.

As the council leadership is allegedly dealing with our members who have all put their colleagues in this, we are calling on his royal majesty, the Ooni of Ife to prevail on his brother, Prince Tunji Ogunwusi to fear God, respect his family name and do the needful.

Of course he can’t claim he used almost 100million naira to grade road to the site and build the three “prototype” we are seeing on ground without even contributing their own counterpart funds to the project as agreed upon.”

“When he was asked where is the remaining money at the meeting with the stakeholders then, he claimed he has bought plumbing and electrical fittings from China for houses he is yet to even start.

He didn’t even deem it fit to inform the council about selling Primewaters. So many grey areas in the contract.

It’s unfortunate that this is happening to Journalists, if it were to be other professional groups that are affected, we will be at the forefront fighting but we can’t even fight our own case.

“Some of us sold company shares and other properties to key into this project.

All those involved should know that posterity would judge all of us.

This fraudulent scheme had been foot dragging for years under the leadership of Omowole and other officers indicted by the committee set up by the Lagos NUJ to investigate the matter.

“Many of us keyed into the project after the foreign partners backed out because we felt the Ogunwusi, being Ooni of Ife’s lineage, will not want to tarnish their family name or be involved in any fraudulent activity.

Unfortunately, things are happening to the contrary and we felt we should let the world know what is happening.

Many of our members who subscribed to the project are dead now, many of us sold other valuables to contribute money for the project. 

No sane mind would claim to have spent close to #100million naira on that three kitchenette they built as prototype without even putting their own counterpart funds as agreed.

When injustice like this happens to others, Journalists are usually at the forefront fighting for them, unfortunately, this is happening to us and we find it very difficult to fight for ourselves.

“Prince Tunji Ogunwusi claimed to have bought plumbing and wiring materials with our several millions of naira for buildings they are yet to build. Justice must be done and truly seen to have been done in this matter.

“There is the issue of another over $26,000 US dollars which were in smaller denominations which Mrs Omowole claimed to have given someone to help spend in USA which is yet to be accounted for and some other monies deposited by subscribers into the project.

“We believe that setting up of another Committee by the National Executive Council of NUJ is a time-wasting effort when many of our colleagues who  subscribed to the project are dead while many are suffering as a result of accommodation problem. We have been on this matter for years now and Justice delayed is Justice denied.”

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