FGC Nise: Alumni members sues Ekumankama, Aniagbaoso for defamation, Says he did not author any open letter

Two Alumni members of Federal Government College Nise and a PTA member are set to sue the principal of the school Mrs Ijeoma Ekumankama and Mr Chinedu Aniagbaoso for defamation. The concerned parents of Federal Government College Nise in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State had petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu over alleged malpractices by the school principal Mrs Ijeoma Ekumankama in collaboration with the PTA executives who are also tactically avoiding summoning a PTA meeting to enable the concerned parents address the negative events and alleged malpractices.

Part of their petition reads: “Our Children are presently living in overcrowded hostels with maggot-infested overflowing toilets. The Principal, Mrs. Ekumankama defiantly refused to improve these children’s living conditions despite all the resources channelled in by the PTA”.

“The principal extorts money from students and parents with reckless abandon. She has asked a particular set of SS3 students to pay for school magazine twice because she wanted more money. All SS3 Students were asked to pay #5,000 each for plastic chairs to be used for WAEC Exams, these chairs were never given back to the students instead the Principal took them. She collects un-receipted caution fee from JSS 3 and SS3 students, but fails to return same money to the students after their examination. Beyond this, she asks parents to bring different types of materials ranging from bulbs, biros, white board markers, tissues, detergent, brooms, cobweb sticks etc. These items are brought every term by parents. She claims money does not come from the Ministry to make any of these provisions in the school. It was however discovered that after all these requirements are collected from parents, she allegedly loads them in a truck to resell in the open market”.

“Honourable Minister, the above burning issues and the threat of the Principal on Parents with DSS, Awka South division and Nigerian Police especially on the 10th May, 2021 when DSS invited one of our Parents, Dr Mrs Ezinne Nwaneli to their office with a threat of her arrest if she posts anything concerning the school on the PTA and alumni platforms. The Principal’s constant bragging of her high connections to government officials has necessitated our resolve to cry out to your honourable office for urgent attention. The principal is also alleging that you ordered her not to call for a PTA meeting. You are our only hope of remedying our children’s plight.”

The concerned parents also raised concerns of possible collaboration with PTA executives who refused to call for PTA meeting for over 16months to resolve all burning issues raised by concerned parents but hurriedly went to the media to counter the open petition written by the concerned parents without addressing the key allegations of corrupt practices contained in the petition.

“Honourable Minister Sir, you may wonder why we reach out to you as concerned parents and not as the school’s PTA. This is because we sense collaboration of the school management with the PTA executives. The PTA executives that has refused to call for a PTA meeting (virtual or otherwise) amidst the burning issues in the school despite cries from the parents. The PTA executives and the Principal have also resorted to the use of the PTA funds for financially projects which are not approved by the PTA. This unholy union has made parents lose confidence in the PTA executives.” The concerned parents noted.

In the current twist, Mr Chinedu Aniagbaoso who is not a spokeman or PTA member made a defamatory online publication where he blackmailed two alumni members who spoke against the school’s administrator and the PTA. Mr Aniagbaoso insuinated that the petition signed by concerned parents was a product of vendetta by Dr Obiatuegwu Kenenna and Dr Ezinne Nwaneli and further alleged that he is fighting the battle of his sister who made failed attempt to enrich herself.

In the pre-action notice served via th alumni platform, Dr Obiatuegwu Kenenna and Dr Ezinne Nwaneli through their counsel denied knowledge of Mr Aniagbaoso unfounded allegations and issued a two week ultimatum for him to make the prescribed restitution.

The pre-action notice reads, “That on the 13th day of May, 2021 a publication signed by you alleging that our clients embarked on a vendetta vide a malicious petition against the principal of Federal Government College Nise, Anambra State one Mrs Ijeoma Ekumankama.”

“That in the said publication you alleged that the petition which you termed malicious was instigated by our clients as a result of a botched attempt of our client Dr. Nwaneli Ezinne to influence the school principal Mrs Ijeoma Ekumankama to adopt our client’s hospital/facility as a referral centre for students of FGC Nise.”

“Our clients are reputable surgeon and paediatrician respectively with the West African College of Surgeons and National Postgraduate Medical College and we state categorically that our client Dr. Kenenna Obiatuegwu had at no material time signed any petition and at no material time did our client Dr. Nwaneli Ezinne embark on any voyage to influence the school’s principal to adopt her facility as a referral centre.”

“That our client Dr Ezinne Nwaneli who is a renowned paediatrician and the founder of Paediatrician Give Answers (PGA- an online platform where she offers free preliminary advice to parents and intending parents on child safety) had rather donated expensive items including a hospital sized nebulizer, modern BP monitors, digital thermometers, pulse oximeters, several packs of Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORS), micronutrients and others to the school’s clinic when she visited and was shocked that the students who had gastroenteritis and diarrhea were treated with spirite and salt. Our client never asked for any financial gains.”

“That as part of her Co-operate Social Responsibility (CSR), our client Dr Nwaneli Ezinne also rallied to get 13 Alumni members including herself to drill borehole worth over 1.3million naira for FGC Nise and never asked for any financial renumeration.”

“We state therefore that this allegation of yours is false, unfounded, malicious, vexatious and defamatory. We also wonder why an alumni member would prefer to serve as spokesman to an accused principal in a letter signed by concerned parents that does not involve you or the alumni in any way.”

“That your purported allegation has spread throughout the internet, social media and news platforms and have occasioned on our clients ridicule, embarrassment, dismay and brought their image to disrepute.”

Hence via this letter, notice is given to you to forthwith upon receipt of this letter issue within two (2) weeks:

  1. A retraction of your publication via the same platform.
  2. A written apology addressed to our clients.
  3. Payment of the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) only as damages to our clients in satisfaction of the damages meted on our clients as a result of your defamatory publication.

Take further notice that failure to comply with the above, necessary legal action would be sought without further recourse to you.

In addressing the issues raised by the concerned parents via their open petition to the Minister of Education, the principal allegedly called the PTA chairman and appealed to her to release a counter statement to the allegations raised by concerned parents without addressing the burning issues.

Efforts to hear Mrs Ekumankama’s side of the story was not successful and attempt to get her mobile phone contact from the security guards proved abortive.

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