…Tony Iju Urges Taiwo Mustapha, Others To Seek Re-election
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that it is forging ahead to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) from where an election would be conducted, and nine fresh people would be elected as members of Board of Trustees (BOT)
Already, three candidates from Lagos, Abuja and Kano have purchased forms for the election.
Speaking at a press briefing at the National Secretariat in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos yesterday, ANLCA National President, Hon Tony Iju Nwabunike said that the tenure of the BOT expired on 13th of February, and that the association is ready to conduct fresh elections.
Nwabunike charged the embittered four members of the “immediate past BOT” namely; Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Chief Dennis Okafor, Sir Earnest Elochukwu and Mr. Dayo Azeez to come up and pick forms for re-election into the board.
The ANLCA President told journalists that the purpoted Court injunction that stops him from parading himself in office has expired after fourteen days.
He assured all ANLCA members that there is no ethnic crisis in the association, saying that the embittered five BOT members were only trying to play ethnicity card to cause trouble for his administration.
While highlighting various steps he has taken to ensure that the crisis rocking the association is resolved, Nwabunike said he had re-called back all the Western Zone Chairmen who disowned him in 2018 without any sanction, and that he called for certificate of the kangaroo elections conducted by the BOT so that he could at least append his signature to them, but that the Taiwo Mustapha group were never satisfied with his peace moves.
“Whether anybody likes it or not, this NECOM has decided to move on, we are forging ahead to conduct our BOT elections, right now, we do not have any BOT, their tenure has expired on Feb 13th 2020, so ,it is high time we select diligent and responsible people that will add value to the association” he stated
While tracing the genesis of the crisis in the BOT, he said the problem is borne out of ethnicity and fears that the Igbos were taking over ANLCA.
“I was not comfortable with the board holding elections at the eve of his inauguration, dont forget that i am also a member of the board before i won election, I never knew they did election until after my inauguration”
“I told them that this is too sudden, and what was the exigency, but they said if Igbo man becomes President, the board must be a Yoruba man, I appealed to them for time, and that was the genesis of the problem”
“I appealed to Taiwo Mustapha for them to reconduct the BOT elections, I even assured him that I would support him to emerge as Chairman, but he preferred to be Chairman of BOT that is not recognised ”
“Taiwo Mustapha is a pathological liar and the most unstable person i have ever dealt with, when he tells you something today, he goes ahead to implement something else”
“Anyone that tells you that Yoruba and Igbos are fighting in ANLCA, it is not true, there are plans to destabilise this NECOM from day-one, but we have refused to succumb to their pressure”
“They have taken us to court eight times, but we have been on the defence. They used all machineries to truncate this administration, the latest was the attack on 6th of October 2020, about 40 men with guns attacked our Secretariat” he recalled
Continuing, Nwabunike said “When Olayiwola Shittu (immediate past President) was president, Taiwo Mustapha was head of BOT as a Cordinator, and the ASECO Chairman was Mukaila, they were all Yorubas, yet nobody raised an eyebrow”
“Also in the first term of Henry Njoku as Board Chair, Elochukwu was President, and nobody actually raised tribal issues” he said
Nwabunike said he is the most insulted and abused president of ANLCA, but that going forward, he would no longer tolerate the affront from any disgruntled elements.
“In few weeks time, the BOT elections would hold, let them keep going to court for injunction, we would keep giving them fourtee days until it expires while we do the right thing”
Also speaking at the briefing, Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto blamed the immediate past National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu for the crisis in the association.
He accused Shittu of fueling the crisis, adding that all his lieutenants are the ones trying from day-1 to ensure that the present NECOM never enjoy their government.
“Shittu would tell you that he sees no evil and hear no evil, but indications showed that everyone causing this crisis are always seating with him and are all his friends, but he refused to talk to them”
On his part, the National Secretary, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila took time to explain several sections of the ANCLA constitution, saying that the NECOM are on the right side of the law.
Mukaila noted that the court case instituted by a member of the BoT, Peter Obi led to the court ruling that Mustapha and three members of the board were not registered with CAC, but this does not mean the association has to extend the tenure of the board.
“At the exit date of their tenure, three members of the board wrote their valedictory speech; Henry Njoku, late Aare Sanni Shittu and Peter Obi. But the other five decided to use another six years”
“We have met them in court, we have notified the corporate affairs that the tenure of our board is over, and that we are going for our AGM, it would interest you to know that three members have already picked forms for BOT, the same board they are hanging onto that they would not leave”
“I don’t see any instrument of law, or that of the association that has extended the tenure of this board, because you cannot get into our board unless through AGM”
Mukaila said that all western zone chapters who have refused to pay their monthly dues to the national secretariat would pay it in arrears, and that the National would never overlook the dues.
He also said the recent attack on the national secretariat would cost N21million to fix all the damages inflicted.
On allegations that the association collected N31million from Western zone members for election that was not conducted, Mukaila said the money was still intact and in the account of the BOT.
“The two signatories to the money are; Henry Njoku and Taiye Oyeniyi, but Taiye Oyeniyi has made attempts to change the signatories and the bank refused him, that is why he is making unnecessary allegations ”
Other members of the association who spoke with DAILY TREND NEWS agreed that it was wrong for Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and others to perpetuate themselves as BOT members while their colleagues have finished their tenure and exited.
“The only difference was the lack of registration of their names at CAC, and since this has been regularised, there is no need for them to keep holding to the office, irrespective of the court judgment they are peddling around, granting them power to stay for another six years”