The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has declared as illegal, the proposed ‘Senator of the Year Award’ being given to Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West).
The Senate Press Corps had nominated Melaye and 14 other Senators for series of awards, slated to hold today at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
However, in their separate press statements made available to newsmen on Monday, the National President of NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile and the Chairman of FCT Council of the Union, Ella Abechi; said the Union had canceled the proposed award ceremony.
The NUJ said the Press Corp of the Senate was not recognized by the constitution of the NUJ and as such, had no locus standi to present award to the lawmakers.
According to the National President of NUJ, “The award purportedly by the Senate Press Corp of the Union is illegal as the body is not recognized by the NUJ constitution to give any award to anybody.
“The Union dissociates itself from the so-called conferment as it did not comply with the provision of the Constitution of NUJ on such issues, hence the nullification of the award”.
“By this announcement, the Chairman Abuja Council FCT, Ella Abechi, has called off the award ceremony slated for this evening at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, as the award is illegal and lacks legitimacy by the constitution of the NUJ”, FCT Chairman, Ella added.
Both Press Corps of Senate and Reps had been enjoying the patronage of the lawmakers overtime, even though they are not recognized by the NUJ constitution, they have flagrantly violated the rules of the Union by dolling out awards to unmerited lawmakers who also enjoy same.
Just last year, the Press Corps organised a kangaroo award ceremony to Senator Melaye and other lawmakers at the ICC Abuja, which the NUJ seriously considered as an effrontery.