By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even though the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has denied existence of a Federal High Court Restraining Order, directing them to stop parading themselves in office, Chairman of its recently constituted taskforce, Sir John Offorbike has acknowledged the court order.
Offorbike who is Zonal Coordinator West of the association said he is now only playing an advisory role, while Chairmen of chapters now control the taskforce.
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos recently declared the elections that brought-in the current executives of ANLCA as null and void, even as it ordered Nwabunike and his executives to stop parading himself in office.
The presiding judge gave the order on August 20, 2020, in favour of a case instituted against Tony Iju and other executive members of the association by the plaintiffs – Mr. Olumide Fakanlu and Mr. John Nwagbaraocha – on July 20, 2020
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS, Offorbike said it is contempt of court if he continues to address himself as Chairman of the taskforce and Zonal Coordinator of ANCLA, pending when the case is decided.
“If a court of competent jurisdiction gives an order, it must be obeyed, i have not been coming out anywhere to present myself as the Zonal Cordinator, so whenever the taskforce call upon me, I address them as ex-zonal Cordinator pending when the matter is determined”
“And based on that, I have lay low because anything I do, if they take the picture to the courts, I could be served with cotempt of court”
“Meanwhile, some chairmen are controlling the task force and coordinating them, and again I have given them their terms of reference, anywhere there are issues, I advise them” he said
Offorbike however said that the ANLCA taskforce has made various interventions on operational challenges confronting members of the association with Shipping companies, terminal operators and Customs officers.
He said the taskforce has been to Port and Cargo Terminal, Sifax, Maersk Line and COSCO Shipping to address various challenges of members.
He said “The task force have been to terminals where they have billing issues and they intervened, they have gone to the road to dismantle illegal road blocks being mounted by customs, when customs saw them, they allowed the whole vehicles to go”
“The controller FOU and the controller strike force told us that they never told officers to mount road blocks on the road and stop moving vehicles.
The taskforce job is not a paid job, most of my officers have their own work to clear, whenever there is a challenge, they come out to assist after which they go back”
“Since I set them up, they have achieved so much results, and our people have so much confidence in them, and they call them whenever there is disput and the taskforce has been solving their problems”
“They have gone to Port and Cargo, Sifax, COSCO Shipping, and Maersk Line. They most of the time go on the road in front of Area B in Apapa to control traffic and to see why vehicles are being stopped by customs through their camp boys.
Corruption has eaten deep into them, the moment our people leave the spot, they would continue what they were doing”
I have however told the head of Customs Strike Force and the FOU Comptroller to disguise themselves and have an on-the-spot assessment of what is happening, which they have promised that they are going to do.
They also said they are taking internal measures to control the excesses of the boys”