Confusion as Sheraton Hotels denies confab committees access to venue

By Bode Olagoke

Delegates at the ongoing National Conference were yesterday thrown into confusion as committee members in 11-20 slated to hold at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers were not sure of their fate following an announcement by the hotel management that the venue has been booked.

A source at the hotels told Blueprint that the management had announced that its facilities were already booked before the leadership of the conference approached them.

The source said the hotel management may have considered several factors which included the unabated insecurity in the country and profitability of the program as reasons, and therefore denied them access to the venue.
The conference leadership had earlier announced Sheraton Hotels and Towers as venue for meetings for committees 11 to 20.
In a swift reaction to the development, the conference Chairman and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, therefore announced a change of venue for some of the standing committees in a statement signed by the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Mr. Akpandem James.

The statement said “Committees one to ten will hold their sessions at the National Judicial Institute, Committees 11 to 20 hitherto scheduled to sit at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers will now hold their sessions at the NICON Luxury Hotel, near the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

“The change in venue for the second set of committees became necessary when it was obvious that the venue announced earlier will not be available for the number of days envisaged.”

While apologizing to the delegates for the sudden change, Justice Kutigi said coffee and lunch breaks would be observed at the respective venues that the committees will sit. He enjoined the delegates to go straight to their respective venues as they resume from the Easter break.
It would be recalled that the plenary session of the Conference drew to a temporary close on Thursday last week as delegates got set to move into committees.

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