Even as the crisis within the fold of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) subsists, the elected chairman of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Chapter, Comrade Goddy Sewa Soleji has accused an expelled former Acting Financial Secretary of the chapter, Mrs Esther Oyeleke oluwatoyin of spreading lies in the media.
Comrade Soleji was reacting to an alleged false claims by Oyeleke who had in online publications laid claims to the coveted chairmanship seat, and even claimed to have rehabilitated the Chapter secretariat office in eight months.
Setting the records straight, Comrade Soleji in a chat with newsmen in his Secretariat Office on Tuesday said that Mrs Oyeleke was expelled by former President Olayiwola Shittu for anti-association activities since October 2017 and has not been granted any pardon, talk less of contesting and winning any elections.
Mrs Oyeleke and four others had reportedly rebelled against the sitting Chairman by writing falsehood to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) using a fake letter headed paper, attempting to tarnish the image of the chairman, Goddy Sewa Soleji.
As a result, Mrs Oyeleke and her co-travellers were expelled by the association Disciplinary Committee because their actions undermined the internal workings and dispute resolution mechanism of ANLCA, Section 24 (5), (7) & (9) of the constitution of ANLCA.
“As it stands, she remains ineligible to contest an elective position in ANLCA until a legally constituted NECOM at a legally organised NEC meeting says otherwise ” Soleji said
He maintained that the suspended National Executive Committee (NECOM) of ANLCA headed by Tony Iju Nwabunike have been asked to stop parading itself in office by Justice Aikawa in suit No FHC/L/CS/921/2020 on 26th of August, 2020.
In contravention of this court order, he said the suspended NECOM on 16th February, 2021 in collaboration with an unregistered BOT organised a kangaroo election in the middle of the night at Systems Place Hotel Satellite Town Lagos
This according to him, is the same election that Oyeleke Oluwatoyin Esther claims brought her in as the chairman of KLT Chapter
“This reeks of illegality and blatant disrespect of the law which in saner climes attract prison sentence”
“As a matter of fact, the court ordered that all parties should maintain status quo, as a result of this, Comrade Goddy Sewa Soleji remains the Chairman of ANLCA KLT until further notice” he said
Comrade Soleji was elected into office and sworn in by the registered Board of Trustees of ANLCA on December 19th 2018. His tenure is expected to officially end by January 28th, 2022.
“On the issue of KLT ANLCA Secretariat, we state categon‘cally that all she (Oyeleke) said is false and incorrect. Firstly, our administration only began operation in 2015 (6 years ago) and as at when we came in, ANLCA KLT had no secretariat.
“We only acquired the said container in 2016, while in her interview, she stated that the container has been in use for the past 8-years
“As we speak, the said container is still in use, and is now our annex office well fumished and a comfortable haven for our members.
“Meanwhile, in addition, we have acquired a fully functional, well furnished and conducive secretariat (A Standard Three Bedroom Flat) befitting of the status of ANLCA that has been in use since 2018”
“The reason she may not be aware of an ANLCA Head Office in KLT Chapter is that after her suspension and subsequent expulsion, she hasn’t been participating in any activity involving the Association. Every bonafide member of ANLCA KLT Chapter is aware of the existence and functionality of the
Association Secretariat in KLT Chapter, so, her argument is unfounded and full of insincerity ” Comrade Soleji stated.
Meanwhile the ANLCA KLT Chairman has said that 80 percent of the operational challenges faced by members at the chapter is caused by shipping companies.
“It is no longer news that the Shippers Council who has the sole responsibility as a government parastatal failed to regulate them and order them to obey international best practices and make sure our ports are more friendly”
“Since the period of Covid-19 that Federal government directed that shipping companies and terminals should not collect demurrage on cargoes for the period, the shipping companies violated that law, and up till now, our letter are still there, they have refused to refund these monies collected from our members and their importers
“There are delays in transferring of containers to the KLT Terminals and most the terminal operators do not have good working equipment, despite this, they keep counting storage.
“In terms of container refunds, the shipping companies owe our members refunds that have lapsed for three to six months
“What are they using these monies for? Extortion of our members by shipping companies is where we are having challenges. As an experienced agent, I can tell you that if you do the right thing, you have no problem with Nigeria Customs Service” Comrade Soleji stated
He added that since the new Executive Secretary of Shippers Council, Hon Emmanuel Jime came into office, he has done nothing to ameliorate freight forwarders sufferings.
Under Barrister Hassan Bello, the former Executive Secretary, Comrade Soleji said the council carried out investigations into their claims and discovered that trully, the collections by shipping companies were wrong and Shippers Council directed them to pay back the money.