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CONTINENTAL FRAUD

Posted by By CHUKS ONUOHA, Aba on 2008/04/05 | Views: 605 |

CONTINENTAL FRAUD


Chief Charles Okereke, publisher of Nigeria/Africa Masterweb, lived in America for so many years, making waves in his chosen field. In fact, he has proved to the outside world that Nigeria is not after all a country of fraudsters as erroneously believed in the international arena, but a country that has talented people who have deployed their talent to the benefit of mankind.

• How I was robbed of African Union award – Nigerian

Chief Charles Okereke, publisher of Nigeria/Africa Masterweb, lived in America for so many years, making waves in his chosen field. In fact, he has proved to the outside world that Nigeria is not after all a country of fraudsters as erroneously believed in the international arena, but a country that has talented people who have deployed their talent to the benefit of mankind.

Recently, the American returnee stormed The Sun office in Aba with a bagful of stories on how the African Union (AU) had denied him what was due to him. He, therefore, wants President Umaru Yar’Adua to intervene.

His words: “In the year 2003, the African Union Commission organized three prestigious and honourable competitions for the best symbols of the AU as follows: The Best Anthem, The Best Flag and The Best Logo.

“The authors of the best three categories (Anthem, Flag and Logo) were to be presented to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government to finally select AU official symbols and for recognition and award of prices of US$7,000,00 for 1st position, US$5,000,00 for 2nd position and US$3,000,00 for 3rd position, in each of the three categories.

“All three competitions were open to nationals of AU members states who as candidates may submit entries for one or more of the three categories. I entered for the competition and submitted my anthem composition: “God Bless Africa ” to the commission of the African Union.

“On 23/9/2004, Alpha Oumar Kanare, Chairperson of African Union Commission, wrote to notify me that the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government voted my anthem composition third in the Anthem category. He also expressed gratitude for my dedication for Africa and congratulated me for being among the winners of this prestigious and honourable competition.”

According to him, although the rules say that “no recourse shall be entertained about the outcome of the pre-selection, deliberations and the final choice; it did not say that the Committee in charge of the competition is free to violate the rules and procedures.”

He, therefore, said that a winning by a clear violation and breach of the rules can be challenged for the purpose of announcing the rightful winner, but that a winning by due process is unassailable.
“The 1st and 2nd alleged winners did not duly enter for the competition as required by the rules. The 2nd alleged winner is one of the judges of the pre-selection and is, therefore, prohibited by the rules of natural justice from being a judge in his own cause.

“The 1st and 2nd alleged winner of competitions were not publicly played back for assessment by the judges,” he said, adding that his work was the only composition voted upon by judges.
He said that the public also voted on-line in support, adding, “if the winners had being presented to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, only Okereke would have been presented,” which showed that he came first in the composition.

Despite all this, I was denied the award which I clearly won, Okereke said.
In his petition to President Yar’Adua, Okereke said that it was a big honour for Nigeria to have its national composing the African Union anthem. He, therefore, said that Nigeria’s hard earned honour must not be diverted to another member state. “This public deception at a continental level must not be allowed to stand,” he said.

He, therefore, pleaded with President Yar’Adua to use his office to ensure that the 1st price position is restored to its rightful winner, himself, Charles Okereke of Nigeria and the honour properly credited to Nigeria.

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