“You have Compromised your Position as President” Farinto Replies
By DAPO OLAWUNI
There is an ongoing crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) as the Vice President, Dr. Kayode Farinto has been issued a query by the National President, Tony Iju Nwabunike over Farinto’s letter to the World Customs Organisation (WCO)
In the query letter dated 25th August 2020 with reference numbers ANLCA/QUERY/068/8/20/NP, a copy of which was sighted by DAILY TREND NEWS, Nwabunike said the VP allegedly wrote a protest letter against Nigeria Customs Service to the Secretary General of World Customs Organization (WCO) without authorisation of the association.
Recall that Farinto in a letter dated 03/08/2020 with reference number AN LCA/WCO/VOL042/08/020 had inundated the WCO with various practices by Nigeria Customs Service, especially in issuing outrageous valuation on cargoes which according to him is killing trade.
The query letter signed by Nwabunike reads “You are, by this letter, requested to respond in writing within seven (7) working days explaining why disciplinary action(s) should not be taken against you for the following allegation;
“Writing a letter, in the name of our association to the Secretary General of World Customs Organization (WCO) without authorisation of the association”
“The above action, which is an embarrassment to our association and Nigerian business community contravenes Section 7, Sub Sections 3 (a), (d) and ( e) of our constitution, as amended”
“Whereas, Sub Section 7 (c) under Section 7 of our constitution provides that you are the Chairman of the National Disciplinary Committee. You are hereby recused from this function as you cannot be a judge in your own cause in line with the principle ofNemo Judex In Causa Sua”
“Your reply to this query (in writing) should therefore be addressed to The National President and National Executive Committee as you cannot sit as Chairman Disciplinary Committee in your matter”
However, in an epic reply to the query letter dated 27th of August 2020, Farinto said the ANLCA President has always been an apologist to Customs, and that he has abandoned his members.
Farinto said that by virtue of being National Vice President, “I do not need any authorisation in line with Section 3, subsection (a) and (g) which deals with aims and objectives of being members of ANLCA”
While defending his decision to write the WCO, Farinto said “It will interest you to know that at the time of writing the letter to the WCO, your demeanor has shown that you have compromised your position as President to defend the interest of Licensed Customs Agents”
He alleged that several times, he as Vice President had acted in the absence of Nwabunike as the constitution stipulates, but that whenever he returns, he issues press statements apologising and countering positions taken to better the lives of ANLCA members.
Giving instances, he said Nwabunike had “issued a press release against my position that Nigerian Shippers Council does not have power to levy our members the mandatory 10,000 for registration, by supporting this agency which negates the aims and objectives of ANLCA”
“Secondly when it became obvious that Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was making importers and Agents pay unnecessary demurages, your position negated my own and you protected the agency from admitting their fault” the letter reads in part.
Farinto admitted he had issued a press statement in July 2020 when the outcry of ANLCA members became unbearable as the present team of Nigeria Customs Service was strangulation customs brokers.
He said he had called for the sack of the Customs CG and his management team. Due to this letter, he said the customs management had invited the association for a meeting in Abuja.
The ANLCA VP however expressed shock at the fact that Nwabunike rather than defend the right of his members as ANLCA President, he went apologising to the customs and passing a vote of confidence on the CG.
“Mr President, there was never a time that we agreed to pass a vote of confidence on the management of Customs, not even when it is obvious that this particular management team modus operandi is against trade facilitation and it is making our members to be in abject poverty ” he said