ERA-FoEN disowns executive director, Ojo, explains sack

By Valentine Amanze

The last may not have been heard about the recent change of baton at the civil rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN).

The Board of Trustees and Governing Board of the Environmental Rights Development Foundation (ERDF)/Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria has exonerated itself from a purported General Assembly called on October 7, 2020 by the former executive director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, in Benin City.

It reminded the public that Ojo had been disengaged and no longer a member of the organization.

On the alleged meeting, the group, via its
Secretary, Dr Ike Okonta, said that the board would not have considered the illegal convening worth being given any attention but for the stakeholders of ERA/FoEN, who might be scandalized if the board remained silent.

It explained that Godwin Uyi Ojo was removed from the Trusteeship of the ERA/FoEN in 2015 following allegations of gross misconduct and actions inimical to peace and progress of the organisation.

Similarly, it said, the board had on October 3, 2020 held an emergency meeting where the decision to relieve Godwin Ojo of his appointment as executive director was taken.

It pointed out that the decision followed the report of an independent evaluation of the organisation commissioned by the Board, which concluded that: “The current ED who is by nature of the position ultimately responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organization and staff management appears to be out of his depth, lacking both leadership and management sufficient to the task”.

Members of the Board, who signed Ojo’s ouster include Nnimmo Bassey, Dr. Ike Okonta, Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, Professor Margaret Okorodudu-Fubara, Akinbode Oluwafemi and Daphne Wysham.

Instead of abiding by the decision of the Board, the group said that Ojo had been involving himself in illegalities including the purported General Assembly meeting where he brought together faceless civil society groups.

The board has therefore restated that Ojo was no longer a member of ERA/FoEN and would not represent the organisation in any capacity.

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