By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has dissolved the Tony Iju led National Executive Committee (NECOM) even as it appointed an interim committee to run the affairs of the association for the next six months, pending another general election.
The BoT on Wednesday equally took possession of the Inde Dikko House, National Secretariat of ANLCA located at Amuwo Odofin Lagos.
Chairman of the ANLCA Registered Board, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha urged maritime industry stakeholders to dissociate from activities of the former Tony Iju executives, lately administered by Dr Kayode Farinto, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila and others, describing them as impostors.
Heading the interim NECOM in acting capacity is Mr Pius Ujubonu as President, Jamiu Adeyinka as acting Vice President; Joe Sanni, acting National Secretary; Francis Ituah as acting National Publicity Secretary; Alhaji Usman as Treasurer and Waheed Gbadamosi as the acting Financial Secretary.
At the zonal level, Sir John Oforbike remains the leader of ANLCA in the Western Zone, the Northern Zone has Sanusi Wakili, Obi Chima is leader in the Eastern Zone.
The inauguration of the new ANLCA interim executives was witnessed by the Area Commander of Police, Festac Division who sent delegations from his office.
Speaking, the ANLCA BOT Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha stated that “One of the mandate I have as Chairman of the BOT today is to pronounce that the NECOM remains dissolved.
Then, whatever constitution amendment they purportedly carried out in Owerri remains null and void.
“In line with section 13C of the Supreme constitution of ANLCA, we pronounce that there would be an interim government that would run the association.
The Boat is empowered to run the association for six months, but we are transferring that power to the interim executives for a period of either 3-months or 6-months” he said
Mustapha noted that the Tony Iju’s camp in the past four days decided to frustrate every peaceful moves that was being made in the ANLCA crisis.
“The climax of the whole crisis was when the Secretariat was sealed for five weeks. I remember we all met from both sides at the AIG of Police Onikan, asking both sides to settle. We thought we were getting together but we didn’t, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos intervened, and we agreed for a give and take situation.
“We agreed that whatever they have done on their side, we shall overlook, and vice versa, the major thing is for us to work together and move forward, but they reneged on their own side” Mustapha explained
The BOT Chairman charged the Pius Ujubonu led executives to be law abiding, adding that they must not take laws into their hands and always defend the interest of ANLCA members.
Also speaking at the meeting, Secretary of the BOT, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi explained that ANLCA registered board is custodians of all associations properties, liabilities and assets. He said the Inde Dikko House was equally aquired in the name of the board.
According to him, there is no other registered board of ANLCA other than the one headed by Taiwo Mustapha, hence they are saddled with responsibility of appointing acting National executives to run the association.
Prince Oyeniyi said that all the monies so far collected under the name of ANLCA by the immediate past administration must be accounted for.
He however reiterated that ANLCA is one big happy family, “We are not sending anybody away from the association, the law of the association states that in case of any division or crisis, the board should take over.
“We were locked out of the association, we are being threatened, they were sending all manners of messages to us not to come to the Secretariat.
Oyeniyi commended the BOT Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha for being a man of patience who have refused to dance with the sacked NECOM shamefully the way they would have wanted. According to him, Mustapha believe in achieving the right thing through lawful process, hence the crisis has lingered.
Also speaking, former President of ANLCA and current Board Member, Chief Earnest Elochukwu said that
ANLCA Supreme constitution 2008 is the only constitution that is effective, every other amendment was carried out through the back door.
“The constitution stipulates 4-years term for the NECOM, their term expired on April 16th.
We were supposed to have done this inauguration since 17th of April, but due to one reason or the other, it has not been possible.
“We know that members have been suffering, the port has been a nightmare, ANLCA used to interface with the authorities, but found out that nothing was working again. So we are here to take over the running of the association.
“Section 22 (2c) of the constitution empower the BOT to administer the association for six months in the case that election could not be held.
‘We want to assure you that there is nothing we have done here today that is outside the constitution” Elochukwu said
Also speaking, Sir John Oforbike, leader of the Western Zone commended the BOT for waking up from it’s slumber and doing the needful by inaugurating the caretaker committee.
He recounted how he was elected into office in 2018 alongside Tony Iju, Kayode Farinto and the other members of the former NECOM.
“We were elected into office at Enugu State in April 2018, and our tenure expired on April 16th 2022. I was called upon by them for my tenure to be elongated by another one year but I refused. They went ahead and amended the constitution to allow five year tenure.
“Our members have continued to suffer because there was no leadership. This present board tried to broker peace, but these people never allowed it to work.
“We have waited so long to see the BOT react accordingly, but today we are happy that you have woken up from your slumber.
ANLCA has now become a laughing stuck in the midsts of other associations, the number has now become the last in the scheme of things.
“This Secretariat belong to all of us, I was the person that invited Dikko Inde who gave us part of the money we used to purchase the Secretariat, hence we named it after him as Dikko Inde House.
Farinto and co never contributed a dime, I was the one that brought Mukaila into ANLCA” he recounted
In his acceptance speech, the Acting President of ANLCA, Mr Pius Ujubonu who have since taken over his office, states that his inauguration marks a watershed in the history of ANLCA.
“The board has taken a very decisive decision today, we are assuring you that to the best of our ability, you would not regret this action.
You are the owners of the association, we can only be great if we corporate together.
“Farinto, Mukaila and others are impostors, the position they are holding have expired. If you are having an expired driving license, the police would tell you it is null and void.
“Gone are the days when the association will be put under lock and keys for weeks. All ANLCA members are enjoined to henceforth start coming to the National Secretariat of the association. The building belongs to all of us. It’s not the property of any single individual.”
“Ours is to reconcile all frayed nerves and bring everybody onboard. We cannot work if the chapter chairmen, Zonal leaders, the board are not with us” he pleaded