By DAPO OLAWUNI
Western Zone Leader of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Sir John Oforbike has knocked the suspended National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the association over the purported constitution amendment and tenure elongation for its National President, Tony Iju Nwabunike from 4-years to 5-years in office.
Oforbike in an interview with DAILY TREND NEWS recently described the tenure elongation moves as a joke of the century that is being perpetuated by the suspended NECOM, allegedly with support of former Chairman of Board of Trustees (BOT) Chief Henry Njoku and his cohorts.
Oforbike alleged that Tony Iju has been caged as ANLCA President, while some entrenched interest like the Vice President and its National Secretary are the ones controlling affairs of the association.
Recall that in December 2020 at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Board of Trustees election held in Owerri, Imo State, the amendment of the association’s constitution was carried out.
While presenting the amended version to members at an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Monday at ANLCA national secretariat in Lagos, Vice President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto who presided over the NEC, stated that that amended version of the Association’s Constitution has increased the tenure of the President to 5-years, while chapter executives were increased from 3-years to 4-years.
Meanwhile, speaking with our correspondent in a recent interview, the ANLCA Western Zone leader had knocked the amendment, describing the process as a jamboree and a contravention of due process.
Speaking, he said “There is a procedure for amending constitution in ANLCA, look at Nigerian constitution, how is it being amended? You cannot just seat down somewhere and say you have amended our constitution.
“And even if constitution is amended, it is not the man who is on the throne that would benefit from the amendments, it is the people who are coming up behind him.
Tony Iju and others were sworn it with a particular constitution and tenure”
“There was no constitution amendment, whatsoever they did in Owerri was a jamboree, we are not in Uganda where you have Museveni who amend constitution just to suit him, or are we in Zimbabwe where Mugabe would amend constitution just to suit him, this is not a banana Republic. The constitution amendment is a joke of the year, everybody knows about that” Oforbike stated
The ANLCA leader said that Tony Iju and his group are already jittery, knowing fully well that they would lose at the coming elections next year 2022.
“They already know that they cannot win elections and that the chicken is coming to roost, this is why they are giving themselves tenure elongation”
“By next year March, this regime would come to an end, though the court has warned them to stop parading themselves. Ordinarily this regime should end by February next year, the election was conducted on March 8th, 2018”
“What have they achieved? Yet some people have benefitted so much, especially Farinto and Mukaila ”
“Farinto and Mukaila are benefitting so much from all these drama, Tony Iju is not even in charge, he has been caged, he would have quitted, but some people within the association are the ones teleguiding him”
“They have caged him somewhere as the President, while they are the ones operating, Tony Iju have not benefitted anything from ANLCA as far as I am concerned, either monetarily or otherwise”
Speaking on the recent peace moves being made by Dr Rafiu Ladipo, a former president of ANLCA, Oforbike said the move is coming late.
He however said the association does not want a graveyard peace without justice.
“We don’t want a graveyard peace in ANLCA, we want a permanent peace, the chicken would soon come to roost, all the propaganda are coming to an end” he said
According to the new amendments in the ANLCA constitution; Section 8 : TENURE OF OFFICE OF OFFICERS, the older version reads: Unless as may be otherwise provided in any part of this Constitution (a) Every officer, to whom this Constitution applies, elected or appointed with the National President, shall vacate office at the expiration of FOUR (4) calendar years, while the Chapter vacates at the expiration of THREE (3) calendar years dating from the date of assumption of office of incumbent executives .
“Any such officer may be nominated to contest for re- election for another term of four or three year’s tenure depending whether it is a national or chapter office. PROVIDED ALWAYS that he or she shall not hold the same office for more than two terms”
While the new AMENDED VERSION 2020 reads:Unless as may be otherwise provided in any part of this Constitution (a) Every officer, to whom this Constitution applies, elected or appointed with the National President, shall vacate office at the expiration of FIVE (5) calendar years, while the Chapter vacates at the expiration of FOUR (4) calendar years dating from the date of assumption of office of incumbent executives, PROVIDED ALWAYS that he or she shall not hold the same office for more than one term.
SECTION 13:BOARD OF TRUSTEES
NUMBER 5 : FUNCTIONS (d) the old Constitution states ” Appoint members of the Association Electoral Commission to be ratified by the National Executive Council and monitor all elections”
NUMBER 6: TENURE: ” A trustee shall hold office for a term of six (6) years, unless re-elected . Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a member of the board shall be removed if,,,,.
While the new AMENDED VERSION 2020 reads, SECTION 13:BOARD OF TRUSTEES, number 5 : FUNCTIONS (d) ” Recommend members of the Association Electoral Commission
(ASECO) to be ratified by the National Executive Council and monitor all elections”.
NUMBER 6: TENURE: ” A trustee shall hold office for a term of six (6) years, PROVIDED ALWAYS that he/she shall not hold office for more than one term.
While in Section 22 of the amended Constitution 2020,the Association further reduces the powers of the board on election matters which is believed to be the persistent bickering and infighting between the National Executive and the BOT.
In the old Constitution under
SECTION 22, ELECTIONS (c) A body to be known as the Association Election Commission (ASECO) is hereby established. It’s members shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to conduct the elections. ASECO shall in collaboration with BOT have the powers to fix the election fees and timetable.
On the contrary, the AMENDED VERSION 2020 (c) states – The election Commission (hereafter referred to as ASECO) shall have a Chairman who shall be the RETURNING OFFICER.