Oshiomhole Withdraws ITV Benin Accredition Due To Negative Report

Apparently due to the report by the Independent Television (ITV) on the beating of a Catholic Priest by aides to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, which was considered unprofessional, the Edo State Government on Tuesday withdrew the accreditation of the correspondent and cameraman of the station attached to the Government House.
In a letter to the General Manager, Independent Television (ITV), Benin City, owned by Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, said: “You will recall our earlier discussion with you on the series of fabricated and adversarial reportage of issues in the state which has continued to misinform, misrepresent and confuse the people of the state.
“As you know, these deliberate false reports which have become your editorial policy offend the ethics of broadcast journalism and the code of conduct spelt out by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
“In view of the above, we are withdrawing the accreditation of your correspondent earlier attached to Government House with immediate effect.”
Also, the state government on Tuesday, terminated its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Igbinedion University, Okada.
Though sources close to the state government said the termination of the MoU was as result of the refusal of the institution to honour the terms of the agreement which amounted to N350 million, THISDAY gathered that it might not be unconnected with the disagreement.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation Mr. Louis Odion made available to THISDAY, stated that part of the terms of the said MoU was that the school would pay a token as concessionary levy annually to state government for the use of the state owned Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital for which medical students pay fees to the university.
He said the revocation became necessary because upon assumption of office in 2008, Oshiomhole discovered that not only had the terms of MoU been mostly dishonoured despite being too generous to the university, no kobo had been paid to state government over the years.
According to him, “Whereas the MoU in question enabled the Igbinedion University exclusive use of the facilities at the state-owned Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital with our highly skilled personnel paid by Edo tax payers, the state-owned Ambrose Alli University was denied accreditation for medical course by the NUC and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for lack of a teaching hospital”.
Recalling the historical background of the MoU, Odion stated that the agreement in question was entered into on September 1, 2006, under the Lucky Igbinedion Administration to enable the institution enjoy the use of the Benin Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital for the practicals of her medical students.
“It was part of the condition precedent demanded by National Universities Commission and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to grant the Igbinedion University accreditation to train medical students in clinical specialities,” Odion noted.
Consequent upon this circumstance, he said the Ambrose Alli University became an orphan who had to depend on the generosity of University of Benin Teaching Hospital at first, of the University of Jos Teaching Hospital and finally the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for the sustenance of its own medical course.
Odion posited that consistent with the governor’s avowed commitment to the principle of probity and accountability, the state Ministry of Health in 2013 invited management of Igbinedion University to settle the outstanding liabilities as well as convey to the institution’s authority, a notification for an upward review of the annual fee to reflect current economic realities which amounted to N350 million as at 2013 at N50 million per annum which was duly conveyed to the university in writing.
However, he said the university wrote back and offered to pay a ridiculous N50,000 monthly for the use the facilities, adding that all concerted efforts made since by government to make the university management to pay the debt that had accumulated over the years and also agree to the upward review of the annual charge have proved abortive.
Odion therefore declared: “In that circumstance, the governor is left with no other option that to terminate the MoU in the public interest.”
The Ministry of Health has equally been directed to inform the NUC and MDCN that the Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital will no longer be made available for the use of the medical students of Igbinedion University.”
But in his reaction, the Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, Prof. Ehosa Osaghae, said the university was yet to be informed about government’s decision.
Osaghae who spoke in a telephone interview said the university has honored terms in the MoU and wondered why the state government would rush to the press instead of writing to the university, adding “I am yet to be fully informed about the decision.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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