ANLCA: After Tony Iju’s Recall of Suspended Chapter Chairmen, Warring BOT Factions React

…Henry Njokwu Remains ANLCA BOT Chairman

Following the recall of chapter chairmen that were suspended in December 2018 by the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) the Board of Trustees of the association has expressed divergent views.

Tony Iju, ANLCA President at a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja last year suspended the chapter chairmen over their alleged indiscipline and flagrant abuse of ANLCA constitution by boycotting the NEC meeting and for recognizing, Emenike Nwokeoji as their president.

Those that were pronounced suspended includes the  western zone coordinator, Sir John Oforbike, its National Publicity Secretary, Joe Sanni and chairmen of eight chapters in its western zone area including Apapa, Tin Can Island, PTML, Seme border, KLT, Ijora Lillypond.

He had subsequently appointed caretaker committees to take over reign of affairs at the chapters.

The caretaker committees includes; Ojo Akintoye as Tin Can Island chairman, Patrick Ozobialu at Seme chapter, Lawrence Ubah at Ijora chapter, Femi Femat at Apapa chapter among others.

Otunba Sunday Oyebola was appointed as Western Zone Coordinator to replace Sir John Oforbike, while Obicee Okonkwo was appointed as National Publicity Secretary to replace Joe Sanni.

Expectedly, the action was met with stiff opposition as the suspended chapter chairmen went to court and obtained an injunction.

This was followed by series of court cases which led to a protracted crisis that lasted almost a year.

The crisis has no doubt has taken a serious negative toll on ANLCA.

While the crisis lasted, the national secretariat of ANLCA was stifled of funds as the western zone chapters refused to remit their dues to the national.

Note that the western zone chapters remains the heartbeat of the association as most of the viable porte are located in Lagos.

Apart from these, the association members in the last one year suffered greatly in the hands of government agencies.

Policies that ordinarily they would have kicked against were forced down their throats because they could not speak in one voice.

However, members of the association and indeed industry watchers on Monday heaved a sigh of relief when at another NEC meeting held in Lagos, Tony Iju lifted the suspension and welcomed back the chairmen into the fold of the association.

Iju said there was  a need to reconcile all members who have been in one form of disagreement or the other in the last one year, asking  for the approval of NEC to set up a special committee that will look into administrative and operational challenges of ANLCA members.

While reacting to this move in a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS, Secretary of the ANLCA Board of Trustees (BOT) Prince Taiye Oyeniyi said there was nothing strange about the recall of the suspended chairmen.

He said the ANLCA president only realised his mistake and corrected himself.

Oyeniyi however said the BOT have not been briefed about the action taken by Tony Iju.

According to him, the fact that the chairmen were recalled does not mean that the crisis in the BOT has been resolved, adding that the president created the problems by recognizing three board members out of nine.

“The president is yet to report back to the BOT on what he has done, whether it is in consonance with the ANLCA constitution, he needs to let tell the board the decisions he has taken”

“The chairmen that he called back, initially his action was not in line with the ANLCA constitution, how can you just sack elected executives without constitutional provisions of query, setting up of a committee and allow the people indicted to defend themselves”

“What Iju did before was against the constitution, and people were celebrating it, what kind of celebration is that? The stupid action was conceived by Henry Njokwu who has been a parasite to the association for the last 26years and the press are celebrating him”

“The fact that the chairmen were suspended was not enjoyed by the association”

“Some people are commending Iju for what he has done now, I cannot blame those that are commending his because they don’t understand the problem, when somebody decided to use bulldozer to pull down the house he built, after realising his mistake, he decided to buy blocks to remold it back, and yet people are celebrating him”

“They are the ones that created problems by not allowing peace to reign from the beginning, so if they now embrace the peace today, it is a welcomed development”

“But the board are still waiting, we need to be briefed and study his pronouncements and how does it go with the provision of the constitution before we can react on it” he said

Also speaking with our correspondent, Chairman of a faction of BOT of ANLCA, Chief Henry Njokwu commended Tony Iju for making efforts to ensure peace in running of the association.

Njokwu said he was not opposed to peace in ANLCA, adding that the association has always come out of its internal crisis stronger and better.

He however said he is still the Chairman of the ANLCA BOT, following the recent ruling by a federal high court.

Our correspondent learnt that the court had upheld that Henry Njokwu is the only man recognised as the BOT chairman of ANLCA and not Taiwo Mustapha.

Surprisingly, only three members out of the nine member board were registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 

Speaking, Njokwu said “There is nothing better than peace, if ANLCA is making moves to ensure that peace reigns, we are not against it”

“On the BOT crisis, there is a court ruling on the matter and the court ruling was that I am the chairman of the board and that no other person should parade themselves, it was a federal high court ruling, so it is a closed case, except we have an appeal against the judgement”

“ANLCA has always had issues like this, when we finish, we come out stronger, so I don’t have anything against making peace”

Meanwhile, the association is yet to come out with a position on the chapter elections that were conducted by the Taiwo Mustapha faction in December last year.

For example, elections at Apapa had brought in Mr. Dom Onyeka.

Speaking with our correspondent on this, former chairman of Apapa chapter, Olumide Fakanlu said Tony Iju is yet to make a pronouncement over the matter.

Fakanlu who represented some of the chapter chairmen at the Monday NEC meeting however commended the move to recall the suspended chairmen.

Speaking, he said “It is a good omen, and it is a welcomed development, I just pray that that they can build better on it and make the association wax stronger” 

“The president has not made any categorical statement about Apapa chapter, it is the BOT that would hand over the elections to him, it is the BOT that is in charge of conducting elections, so it is now between him and the BOT”

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