—We are not Participating in It, we are also gathering licenses, Says Interim National President
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Sir Ernest Elochukwu, a member of the Registered Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has described the purported Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association summoned by Mr Kayode Farinto as illegal and dead on arrival.
The controversial AGM meeting reported summoned by Farinto on the directive of Governing Board Chairman of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar, and it is expected to hold on 15th of March 2023 at Eko Hotel in Lagos.
Speaking with DAILY TREND exclusively on Tuesday, Sir Elochukwu, who is also a former President of ANLCA, said that Farinto has no constitutional right to summon any AGM meeting because he is not recognized by ANLCA Constitution due to expiration of his tenure in April 2022.
He said that the BOT has written to the CRFFN Chairman, warning that his actions are ultra vires, and that the Minister of Transportation has equally been told to call him to order.
“If that AGM takes place, it is an illegality.
The Crisis in ANLCA was caused by Tony Iju, Henry Njoku and Peter Ogeh Obi, later it was inherited and developed by Farinto and Mukaila,
“It is an unnecessary fight because everything is clear, first is that NECOM that was elected on 1st of March 2018 has played out it’s tenure, and there is nothing in the ANLCA constitution that allows for extension of tenure.
“The fact that they have been here, they have sustained the crisis for whatever benefit they are deriving from it, and the fact that we have decided to go about it in a peaceful manner so as not to destroy the whole ANLCA, is a position that many people are yet to understand.
“The situation we are in right now, is the proverbial statement that when a mad man takes your clothing while bathing, you don’t have to run after him, or else, both of you would be assumed to be mad men. We don’t want to employ the kind of lawlessness they are employing, if we do, there won’t be any ANLCA left. This is why we have been going about it in a gentle way.
“The recent diversion to use the CRFFN Governing Council Chairman to create an Abracadabra of control, we are doing something about it in our own way. The letter we wrote to the Minister of Transportation is to call him to order because he is clearly doing what is not his mandate.
“The CRFFN by its relevant sections is to regulate associations, it does not mean that the CRFFN can now decree an association into existence or decree on a constitutional issue like trusteeship, it is never done.
“If that is actually the aim of this so-called AGM, it means that it is dead on arrival.
The second issue is that Farinto has no constitutional right to summon that meeting as he is so directed by the CRFFN board.
“There is nothing in our constitution that says “Acting President”, this is only a position he has abrogated to himself and he has been going on with it, with the help of some section of the press, who has been promoting him, we would gradually bring him out of this illusion and this is why we are following him step by step.
“We have told the CRFFN Chairman that his actions are ultra vires and we have called the Minister of Transportation to call him to order” Elochukwu stated
Also speaking with DAILY TREND, Interim National President of ANLCA, Mr Pius Ujubonu has said that members of the association are not going to participate in the illegally summoned AGM.
Ujubonu told our correspondent that the BOT led by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha has directed the interim NECOM to collate licenses on chapter-by-chapter basis.
Even though he refused to state the reasons for collating members licenses, he said that chapters like Tin Can Island Port, KLT and Seme chapters have responded promptly while others are still foot-dragging the process.
“The members of the registered BOT are not attending the purported AGM, and if they are talking about AGM and they are being exclusive, we don’t know what they have in mind.
“The licenses they collated during the crisis is what they are using, those members who were not with them during the crisis are not coming forward to register their licenses with them, they are still maintaining the division they have created all this while.
“You cannot be talking of ANLCA and you are talking about 200 licenses, you should be talking about 2,500 registered licenses.
“We are also collating licenses, but not for their own AGM. We have been cohabitating in the National Secretariat since February.
“We are Collating Licenses but some of the chairmen are not serious, we gave them up till 3rd of March 2023, Tin Can chapter, KLT,and Seme chapters have responded, we are waiting for Apapa, Ijora and others.” Ujubonu said
When asked what the license collation is for, Ujubonu said “When the time comes, I will call you”