By DAPO OLAWUNI
The former President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the association, Chief Ernest Elochukwu has dispelled rumours of a crack within the board, especially between himself and Chairman of the board, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha.
Speculations were rife last week that Chief Elochukwu had a falling-out with Taiwo Mustapha because of the latter’s “too gentle and soft” approach to handling the crisis within the association, especially to deal decisively with the association’s National Executive Committee (NECOM) under Tony Iju.
Elochukwu was said to have jumped ship and now dining with the opposition, and this was reason why his name was not among his BOT colleagues whom were reportedly suspended recently.
But speaking exclusively with DAILY TREND NEWS, Chief Elochukwu described such insinuations as the figment of some people’s imagination.
“All is well within the board, the story about rancour between me and Alhaji is a figment of some people’s imagination. I don’t know how these rumours came about”
“Alhaji Taiwo is still the Chairman of the board, but whatever we want to do, we all always agree together, because of his advocative nature, he believes we should not react the way the NECOM are reacting, because at the end of the day, we want to have an association that would not be so brutalised, I agree with him”
“Some people have said that the so-called suspension of Taiye Oyeniyi, Taiwo Mustapha and Dennis Okafor without my name is because I have already settled with Tony Iju”
“How possible is it that I that have always been labelled as brain behind fight against Tony Iju is now with him?” he wondered
Elochukwu reiterated that the BOT headed by Taiwo Mustapha are still the authentic board recognised by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the court of law.
According to him, the NECOM under Tony Iju, due to pure frustration had resulted into flying people’s name at the controvertial AGM held in Owerri in 2020 in order to shore up NECOM already bad image.
He said that names of respected people like Chairman of SIFAX Grpup, Dr Taiwo Afolabi was mentioned at the AGM, but that Dr Afolabi have realised the futility of it and distanced himself.
He said himself cannot be seen hobnobbing with Tony Iju and his team, especially at a time that people are distancing themselves from him.
Chief Elochukwu explained that he had encountered Tony Iju at a birthday party recently, and that they took pictures, he said this was genesis of the rumours.
“The next thing I heard after the party, I was told that in their forum, they splashed it up that distanced elders have settled”
“The question becomes, if I come to a function and I see Tony Iju, he was elected as our national president, and I have always known him, despite our different views, does that mean I should not acknowledge him? Or if the cameras are coming, I should cover my face, of course that would be childish”
“I am not having personal issues with anybody, whoever I disagree with is based on principle, what the NECOM is doing does not agree with my own principle” he said
Speaking on the recent court injunction issued by a Federal High Court in Kano Judicial Division, Kano State which restrained the “Owerri BOT ” from parading themselves in office, Chief Elochukwu said it is amazing the way NECOM is going about, interpreting the injunction ignorantly.
“If they are arguing that an exparte motion lasts for two weeks, if so, it means that Nigerians Judiciary is just a kangaroo, because I can always dodge from being served for two weeks”
“The court is not stupid as these people are trying to make it look like, the court issued an order restraining these people from parading themselves until the matter instituted is determined”
“But somebody seating in his office in Lagos, “an almighty suspender”, is saying that after two weeks, the order is no longer effective. The fact that I did not go to law school does not mean I shouldn’t know the basic things in law.
So, am I supposed to be discussing with people who reason this way?
“I am shocked that hungry lawyers who wants to look relevant are making the Judiciary look stupid” he said