By DAPO OLAWUNI
The fragile peace accord brokered by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) after it’s five years of intractable internal crisis is currently being threatened, even as the National Executive Committee (NECOM) is set to hold a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
This meeting is slated for today, Monday 26th of June 2023 and it is without the consent and agreement of the Board of Trustees (BOT)
Industry watchers and critical stakeholders fear that the association might soon be thrown into another round of serious crisis because most of the members who are supposed to attend this meeting have travelled for the Muslim festivities.
A lot of members of ANLCA have also questioned the rational behind the NECOM led by its Acting President, Dr Kayode Farinto and it’s National Secretary, Babatunde Mukaila administering the association, dishing out instructions and letters, even though their term in office expired one year ago.
In a letter with reference number ANLCA/EM/326/06/23/NS dated 21st of June 2023, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila informed all NEC members of the proposed meeting billed to hold today at the National Secretariat, Amuwo Odofin Lagos.
The subject of the meeting is; EMERGENCY NEC MEETING ON WAY FORWARD FOR NECOM ELECTION AND BOARD OF TRUSTEE (BOT)
In a quick response to this notice of meeting, the ANLCA Board of Trustees in a letter signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha kicked against such meeting saying that it is ill timed and that the Muslim brothers should be considered.
In a letter dated 22nd of June 2023, the BOT chair in a letter to the Acting National President said “I will like to bring to your attention the need to cancel this meeting in view of the coming Eid prayers for the Muslims.
“The Sallah is on Wednesday 28th; and ideally most of our members
who are Muslims would have started travelling out of their base to the various towns and villages for the holiday. In view of this, the BOT would be available for such meeting second week of July” he said
In his response through his company letterhead paper dated 23rd of June 2023, the Acting President, Dr Kayode Farinto informed the BOT that NECOM was aware of the Eid prayers, but that the meeting would hold regardless.
In the letter with Wealthy Honey Investment Limited, Farinto said “With reference to your letter dated 22nd of June, 2023, which was received few
minutes ago, on the proposed emergency meeting.
I wish to inform you that, NECOM is aware of the Eid prayers for the Muslim and that the Salah is on Wednesday, however I assure you that the meeting will not
last more than two hours as it becomes imperative to discuss the recent happening in the association, viz a viz your board press release that the ASECO is being investigated, which may affect the conduct of the NECOM election.
“Although I am aware you did a rebuttal but the members of the press, continue to troop to
my office seeking clarification and the need to lay it to rest which will be discussed at the NEC.
“Hence the Exigency of having this emergency meeting on Monday the 26th of June, 2023.and the issue of Badagry court judgement of
yesterday and other agenda as stated, In view of this the BOT can nominate few of her member to represent her in this meeting”
In response to this, the BOT wrote another reply to the Acting President, insisting that the proposed meeting be postponed to enable members attend.
He noted that the urgency with which the NECOM wants to hold the NEC meeting is because of ongoing investigation of some members of the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO) who do not have licenses.
Mustapha said that there was no need for the NECOM to play the role of a litigant or preempt the BOT on outcome of it’s investigation of the ASECO members.
Meanwhile, tension is building up among members of ANLCA on the proposed NEC meeting, even as many feared that it is a ploy by a particular group, headed by Chief Henry Njoku, a Patron of the association to install his anointed candidate, Kayode Farinto to continue in office as President of ANLCA.
Recall that the NECOM had extended it’s tenure in office from four years to five years at a controversial Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Owerri in year 2022.
The National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Mr Joe Sanni through a statement titled “MY DEAR GENUINE MEMBERS OF ANLCA, IT IS TIME TO TAKE OUR NATIONAL SECRETARIAT BACK FROM ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS” urged members to take back the association from the stronghold of Njoku, Farinto and Mukaila
“Why does Henry Njoku, Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez keep insulting the rest of us in ANLCA and we all keep tolerating them? Are we all normal? Answer is no!!!
“On whose mandate are they still occupying our National Secretariat and still pretending that their tenure has not ended since 16th April 2022?
My dear professional colleagues, it is time we collectively take our destiny in our hands. Peace can never be achieved when one party keep dictating everything in their own favor, whereas they ought to be apologetic for putting all of us through a hell of five years, and we are still tolerating them.
“It is time to move in and flush them out of our common facility – the National Secretariat of ANLCA, because they are simply illegal occupants.
Right now, the CRFFN-contraption called the BOT, may not be able to act as a unit, because some of them have the moral and legal burden of not being constitutionally elected into the board of trustees of ANLCA, according to provisions of the extant 2008 Supreme Constitution of ANLCA.
“So, the only practicable action for now, until the BOT is properly certificated by CAC to perform its constitutional role of filling in the space during crisis in ANLCA, we the members might as well take over the secretariat and secure it until veritable structures are erected.
“Enough of this fear of Henry, Kayode and Mukaila in us, that has led us into these past wasted five years” Sanni said
In another long write-up widely circulated among members, former Chairman of ASECO, Barrister Raymond Oyimba raised an alarm that there is an ongoing process to install two President’s in ANLCA.
He said “TWO PRESIDENTS OF ANLCA is Loading. One to be Elected by Popular VOTES of members ANLCA and the other to be appointed by FACTION of CRFFN.One wants to be called President at all cost and ask another to go to Court.
“This illegality is being perfected right now in a popular Lagos hotel . This is being fine-tuned for tomorrow illegal NEC meeting by illegal extended NECOM that wrongly cited section 8 of their own Constitution to purportedly extend their tenure with collusion of some … .They were in a hurry to extend their tenure and grossly cited a wrong section of their Constitution so that looting will continue …(only legends can understand)
“They have concluded with number of votes needed in Tomorrow,s illegal meeting to come from RUNAWAY President appointees and expired Chapter executives. One Association with Two Presidents, one residing in USA and another endorsing another failure calling himself Acting President residing in Lagos. WHICH KIND OF FILM IS THIS? Is it Nollywood or Bollywood?
“All other Elections ever conducted in ANLC were held in the East and why not Lagos now where bulk of the VOTERS are residing and doing business . They hurriedly appointed Aseco members without background check and now in search of another .
“Welcome again to TWO PRESIDENTS of ANLCA. One coming from Appointees of CRFFN and the other to be Elected by ANLCA members” Oyimba wrote.