By DAPO OLAWUNI
Fresh indications have emerged in the ongoing leadership tussle within the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in a letter to the association declined registration of the Dr Taiwo Afolabi led Board of Trustees (BOT) due to pending suits and objection letters from the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led BOT.
The Afolabi-led board apparently had written to the commission to register its members in February 2021 but the commission declined.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary of ANLCA on 23rd of March 2021, signed by one Leticia Modey (Mrs) for the Registrar General of the commission, a copy of which was sighted by our correspondent, the CAC said the factional board cannot be registered at the moment.
The letter reads in part “We acknowledge the receipt of your application dated 25th of February, 2021 on the above subject matter.
l am directed to inform you that your application is put on hold due to a pending suite and an objection letter dated 14th January, 2020”
“Also, recall a letter written to your Association by the Commission dated 3rd of March, 2020.
Attached is the copy of the objection and letter from the Commission for your perusal”
The CAC in a Certified True Copy of the certificate of registration of ANLCA Board issued 16th October 2020 confirmed that those registered with her as board of ANLCA are; Chief Peter Obi, Taiwo Mustapha, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, Ernest Elochukwu, Henry Njoku, Aare Sanni Shittu, Chief Dennis Okafor and Mr Dayo Azeez.
National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila confirmed receipt of the letter.
He however stated that it was unfortunate that staff of the Corporate Affairs Commission was leaking official letters even before they are dispatched.
Responding to inquiries by DAILY TREND NEWS, the ANLCA scribe stated that “The facts of the matter is as follows; As regards the letter of which the original copy is with me, this goes to show that someone at Corporate Affair has access to official letter before being dispatched, since someone else has shown you same”
According to him, the certificate of board registration for Taiwo Mustapha and his group have since been withdrawn by the CAC.
He said the case is currently ongoing before Justice Mrs oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Mukaila stated that the CAC went ahead and issued Mustapha and his group the purported certificate, 2-days after a letter of objection was sent from his office against it.
In a letter written by CAC to ANLCA, dated 3rd of March 2020, a copy of which was sent to our correspondent by the National Secretary, the commission stated that the advertisement for registration tendered by Mustapha and his group in November 2019 was tendered illegally, adding that there was already an ongoing law suit bothering on the appointment of Trustees.
Continuing, Mukaila said “Fast forward, I reapplied to CAC to register the new Board (Taiwo Afolabi and co) 2020-2026 and Mustapha/Oyeniyi instituted a case against ANLCA and CAC which is pending, that their certificate gave them a new six(6) years tenure, and that no new Board should be registered”
“You recalled that only CAC can issue, as well as revoke any certificate, uptill date CAC has refused to come to Court to defend the withdrawal/cancellation of Mustapha certificate” he said
Recall that the association at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on the 23rd of June 2021 at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja expelled some of its members including members of the Taiwo Mustapha BOT for what it described as “anti-association” activities.
The expelled members include; the Managing Director of Green Star Nigeria Limited, Mr. Temitope Akindele, the Managing Director of Multimodal Logistics Limited, Mr. Abdulmaza Joe-Sanni, the Managing Director of MarkMary Nigeria Limited, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, Managing Director of Pyramid Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Managing Director of Nestilo Global Services, Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Managing Director of Salem International Nigeria Limited, Sir John Oforbike and the Managing Director of Bayle Limited, Alhaji Bayo Oyekangun.
Meanwhile, the affected members of the association has said that the suspension cannot stand because the purported NEC meeting was held without knowledge of the registered and authentic BOT recognised by law.
Spokesman for the Mustapha BOT who is National Publicity Secretary (elected) of the Association, Mr Joe Sanni in a statement on Wednesday said the Dr Taiwo Afolabi led BOT is unknown to law, and that it has no legal instrument backing it up, with the CAC having turned down their registration attempts.
Sanni also said that all the NECOM members appearing at the purported NEC meeting as national officers, have since been restrained by Justice Aikawa, a Federal High Court Judge, from parading themselves as such.
He also claimed that a High Court Judge, Justice Lewis-Allagoa had placed a restraining order in Suit No. FHC/KN/CS/79/2021 that Afolabi’s BOT which emerged in Owerri on the 16/12/2020, should not parade themselves as BOT of ANLCA.
While chronicling the emergence of the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led BOT and how the leadership crisis in the association snowballed, Joe Sanni in the statement said on the 13th of February 2014, nine members of ANLCA were elected into the BOT, now headed by Taiwo Mustapha at Wellington Hotel, Warri – Delta State.
“On the 11th of October 2019, Justice Rilwan Aikawa declared the BOT members elected in Warri in 2014 as illegal, null and void having not been duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Suit FHC/L/CS/1274/2018.
“The BOT elected on the 13/2/2014 in Warri, after the judgment/declarations, proceeded to process and perfect their registration with CAC, with 8 of 9 names listed, minus Tony Iju’s name and issued with a registration certificate dated 16/1/2020
“Flowing from Aikawa’s judgment in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1274/2018, all administrative/governance structures created by that illegal BOT, boils down to naught or nothing, founded on a non-existent foundation”
“It must also be noted that since they cannot put something on nothing logically, and as a direct derivative of the judgment, Justice Aikawa, in furtherance to his earlier judgment of 11/10/2019, gave a restraining order in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/921/2020 on the 26th of August 2020, to the effect that NECOM members should stop parading themselves as national officers of ANLCA, and should stop signing any letters, documents on behalf of ANLCA”
“Despite this clear restraining order by the same Justice Aikawa that gave a declarative/defining judgment, the very next month (September 2020) after the order was given, Tony Iju and Co. went to Kano and Abuja to conduct elections and inaugurate the chapters executives there, in a clear violation of Justice Aikawa’s order”
“So, where lies their legitimacy in conducting a dead-on-arrival NEC meeting to take ineffective, repugnant decisions unknown to the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA 2008 (as amended)?” he said