ANLCA Airport Tussle: BOT Risks Jail Term for Disobeying Court Order—Bola Ashiru Spits Fire
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Following the brewing leadership crisis at the Muritala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Service (ANLCA) one of the gladiators in the crisis, Hon Bola Ashiru has threatened to invoke Form 48 and 49 of the Courts against the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the association for failing to comply with the court judgement that declared him as chairman of the Airport Chapter.
Recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos under Hon Justice P.O Lifu on 5th of May 2023 declared Prince Bola Ashiru as the authentic Chairman of the chapter while nullifying the incumbent, Prince Bamgbala Adewusi.
The case with suit number; FHC/L/CS/758/2022 was between Bola Ashiru Balogun and his company; Sotofopy Nigeria Limited as the plaintiff, and the Board of Trustees of ANLCA, Mr Aloy Anokuru for himself and other members of ASECO as 1st and 2nd defendants, while Bamgbala Adewusi and his company; Batolab Investment Nigeria Limited was the 3rd and 4th defendants.
Form 48 is to sound a warning to respondents for refusing to comply with the order of the court, while form 49 is for the Court to commit them to prison.
Speaking exclusively in a telephone chat with DAILY TREND over the weekend, Hon Bola Ashiru alleged that some members of the ANLCA Board are in bed with his opponent, Bamgbala Adewusi to frustrate the Court Order by applying delay tactics.
Recall that Prince Bamgbala Adewusi had in a chat with journalists last week Thursday stated that he had filed an Appeal and Stay of Execution against the Judgement issued by the court on 5th of May.
Speaking on this, Hon Bola Ashiru clarified that this was just an application and that for the moment, there has not been any Appeal or Stay of Execution, and that the Judgement still stands.
“I want to put it on record that the court judgement has not been Stayed and there is no Appeal, the document you published is just an application, it is not a judgement or a pronouncement of the court, they cannot hear the Appeal without me in court.
“The document being flaunted is just a form, it has not been paged, neither is it a court document, the court cannot go into any proceedings without the second party, I have not been served, talk much of going to court.
“I am going to raise form 48 and 49 against the BOT because even as I speak with you, the Board have not acted on the court order, I am supposed to have been sworn in as Chairman of the chapter, the court order was very straight forward, it is a declaration, the Adewusi has been nullified, I as Plaintiff has now been declared as winner of the election, his certificate of return has been revoked, the BOT supposed to raise another certificate of return and swear me in, but since 5th of May, they have failed to do the needful” Bola Ashiru stated
The fearless association man also went ahead to finger the alleged players in the ANLCA Board and the NECOM which according to him are orchestrating the hate against him.
According him “Eniola Igbaroola (BOT member) High chief Shamsudeen Awopeju (BOT Member)
Babatunde Mukaila (ANLCA National Secretary) and Prince Ozo Chukwura (BOT Vice Chairman) were the ones behind these things, they don’t just like my face, their plan is to go and hang the judgement at the Appeal Court, they even said it to my face that there is nothing I can do and that with the Appeal, the term of the chairman must have elapsed.
“They are taking advantage of my peaceful approach, before this matter got to this stage, they were even humiliating me, even to the face of my supporters, saying that I am only disturbing myself”
Speaking on why both parties failed to embrace out of court settlement, Ashiru said “Should he (Adewusi) have waited for the Court to direct him to do that? Knowing fully well that he stole my mandate, all what they did prior to the election were known, I raised official complaints, I waited for complete three months, I even wrote a letter to the association for them to raise a panel of arbitration after they had frustrated the earlier one at Lagos State Government, but they refused, I even wrote a petition that he should not be sworn in, but they went ahead to swear him in.
“The earlier arbitration process which has the consent of the NECOM and BOT was deliberately frustrated by them, even though I was made to pay all arbitration fees
“Now the court order has come and they are failing to implement the court order, the Order says forthwith, which means immediately, what is they are trying to do is to buy time for Adewusi to go to Appeal and hang the case there until his tenure elapsed.
“The man has admitted that he used two licenses to purchase a nomination form, can two companies purchase form for one person?
“They have carried out a lot of falsification to back up their claims, especially on the receipt for form purchase used in the election. It is not in our constitution to substitute licenses, and does Adewusi know that one of his Licenses would have problem which made him use two licenses? He didn’t buy the form with Batolab, he bought it with Ashov, but they later stroke it on the receipt which is falsification.
“I am ready for the press war they are bringing on, and I will open a Can of Worms” Ashiru concluded.
Recall that Justice Lifu in his judgement ruled that the ANLCA Chairman, Adewusi had been disqualified and ineligible to contest the January 15th 2022 election organized by the board or trustees had no locus to so contest the election.
As a result, the Judge said his declaration as the winner of the said election is hereby nullified and therefore void and of no effect.
Justice Lifu also ruled that the certificate of return so issued to Bamgbala Adewusi is hereby revoked forthwith and same should be returned to the ANLCA Board.
Other parts of the judgement states that “By election result sheet exhibited to the 1st and 2nd Defendants Counter Affidavit to the Originating Summons, the 2nd highest candidate which is the Plaintiff is hereby declared the winner of the January 15th 2022 election and should be issued certificate of return forthwith.
“I award a cost of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (500,000.00) against the Defendants jointly and severally but in favour of the Plaintiff” the Judge said.
During the court process, the Plaintiff, Bola Ashiru claims are that the 3rd Defendant, Bamgbala Adewusi who was not qualified to participate in an election was declared a winner of the January 15th 2022 election.