When next you hear the voice-over of a news report on Nigeria’s number one leading TV station, Channels TV; have it at the back of your mind that the voice behind the news may be that of an unhappy worker, who never applied to be a reporter but converted unilaterally to a field correspondent by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Momoh likened to political executive fiat.
One of such persons is Mr Victor Tolu Ojewunmi who joined Channels TV in August 2014 as an anchor but was sent to the field by Momoh against his wish.
As you read this, SecretReporters can authoritatively report that Tolu is no longer a staff of the broadcast house, as he has submitted his resignation letter, which he typed with his iPhone five months ago, but was put under pressure by two of his colleagues not to submit it, until he could no longer bear the inhuman treatment meted out to him and other staff of Channels TV.
SecretReporters gathered that Tolu sent a soft copy of his resignation on 22nd November 2018 which was acknowledged by the Human Resources Manager, Mrs Lolade Momodu, who called him the next day to come with the hard copy for submission.
A twist of fate
Apparently aware of the negative publicity that the resignation of the top reporter would generate in the public domain, Channels TV came up with a purported sack letter. Competent sources within the station revealed that anyone sacked by Momoh is issued a sack letter but Tolu never got one, as he resigned voluntarily but in anger, over the ill-treatment meted out to him.
When pressed for the reason behind the resignation, the source claimed that the TV station was deducting fifty thousand Naira monthly from his salary for no justified reason. Independent findings by this medium revealed that Tolu was sent to Ogun State to handle an N80 million annual program, which is paid N20 million quarterly. Channels TV refused to provide any logistics for him to carry out the program, despite collecting the money from the state government, which led to the reporter footing the bill, hoping he will get a refund after the production of the program, which was never refunded.
We gathered that the icing of the resignation was on one of the programs which was well produced and a copy of the tape already listened to by the Ogun State Commissioner for Information and subsequently kept in the station’s library. In the course of airing the tape from the Master Control Room, it had an audio defect, which prompted the presenter on duty, Amarachi Ubani, to apologize to the viewers, before it was rectified and played later. This online newspaper can confirm that the Ogun State Commissioner for Information Dayo Adeneye also called during the airing of the faulty tape for it to be yanked off air, as it was not the same quality that Tolu initially gave him to listen to.
Without internal query or fact-finding, his salaries began to experience massive deductions every month. The deductions which started from May 2018 we learnt was to last for fifteen months. Unfortunately, Tolu is not alone in this deduction spree, as top presenters, reporters and newscasters of Channels TV are dying silently due to this unholy policy. We gathered that Momoh is allegedly in the habit of increasing workers’ salaries and using flimsy excuses to deduct back the increment. This is evident in yearly report book of the HR who announces proudly on how they saved funds for the TV station by deduction of salaries through reprimand.
“Channels TV is all glamour outside but very rotten inside, treating their staff like a piece of rag, while running the place like an empire”, stated a source within the station.
All efforts made to get the reaction of the Human Resources Manager, Mrs Lolade Momodu at press time proved abortive as she declined calls and didn’t reply to text messages sent to her two known phone numbers.