…BOT and ASECO At Each Other’s Throats Over Mode of Election
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Plans for the forthcoming elections into the National Executive Committee (NECOM) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Wednesday suffered a major setback as the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the Associations Electoral Committee (ASECO) disagreed over who should vote in the election.
Recall that the Customs Consultative Committee (CCC) an arbiter of the Federal Government in the crisis that engulfed the association for the past five years, had directed that “NEC-Mode” of election should be adopted and the 2013 Constitution should be used.
The NEC Mode by interpretation, implies that chapter executives would be a major determinant of who becomes next ANLCA President.
Inside sources at a crucial meeting between the BOT and ASECO in Lagos on Wednesday told DAILY TREND that the meeting ended in deadlock.
According to sources, the BOT headed by its Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha suggested that, in order to ensure a lasting peace, the two political camps in the association should provide 100 candidates each to vote in the election, while the immediate past NECOM should also be allowed to vote.
The BOT members reportedly argued that same political solution adopted with BoT formation and ASECO formation would also be used to reach a compromise on the NECOM election.
However, the ASECO Chairman, Aloy Igwe was reported to have kicked against the proposal, while insisting that only the executives inaugurated by immediate past President, Tony Iju Nwabunike would be allowed to vote.
He maintained that this is the interpretation as given in the directive given by CCC in line with 2013 ANLCA constitution.
While speaking with DAILY TREND, an inside source at the meeting said “The meeting ended in a deadlock. The ASECO said its interpretation of the letter from CCC is that only the executives inaugurated by Tony Iju would be allowed to vote.
“The BoT however argued that the elections conducted by Tony Iju was voided by the Badagry High Court.
The BOT also proposed a political solution whereby the two political camps would produce 100 persons to come and vote, while the former NECOM would also be allowed to vote.
“However, the ASECO Chairman challenged the BOT Chairman and said he can no longer take instructions from him.
“As it stands, ANLCA will end up having two Presidents. Another one is that ASECO Chairman has to resign, his open affront against the BOT cannot be condoned. He has proved to be very biased” he said
While speaking with out correspondent, the ASECO Chairman, Chief Aloy Igwe argued that the ASECO in line with ANLCA Constitution is independent and cannot continue to be tossed around by the BOT.
While giving an account of what transpired at the meeting, Chief Igwe said “Considering the problems we have in the Western Zone, the ASECO had come up with a plan to hold the AGM Mode of election where everybody would come and vote, this is because of the peculiarities we have in the West.
“But they did not understand it, from the other divide, they came up with a letter to the CCC that what they wanted is the NEC Model, and that model is what I am embracing now. If you go to our Constitution, you will see those who are members of NEC.
So, anybody kicking against this now, probably does not mean well for the association.
“We had two options from the beginning, one of them is for everybody to vote through AGM since both candidates have been going to all the chapters to campaign, but one of the groups said No, and that they would be shortchanged
“Now that we have agreed with them to use the NEC Mode, only those executives sworn in by Tony Iju would be allowed to participate in the voting”
The ASECO Chairman however disregarded insinuations that the association is finished and back to square one of where the crisis started.
“We have more that 14 Court Judgements. However we are not back to square one. If we are sincere to post AGM from Eko Hotel, things would go perfectly.
“ASECO is independent by virtue of the Constitution. Appointing me as ASECO and ratified by the Board does not make you to be giving me instructions on what to do.
“You cannot say one thing today, and tommorro you are saying another thing. It was the Board that wrote to the CCC to interpret the Mode of election. The CCC replied them that everybody should subject themselves to the NEC.
“Today, you are coming as a Board and directing me to go and tell every contestant to bring 100 people from both camps, where is that written in our Constitution? So, because you are the Board, I should accept it Hook, Line and Sinkers?
“There is also a divide in the BOT, this proposal is not coming from all of them” Aloy stated.
Recall that the CCC in a copy of its meeting communique titled “UPHOLDING THE TENETS OF THE 19TH JULY 2023 PEACE ACCORD RESOLUTIONS” signed by the CCC Chairman, Alhaji Hakeem Olanrewaju gave its interpretation of the NEC Mode of election.
“The Committee reviewed the two contentious issues in the constitution (the adoption of an “AGM” or “NEC” mode of election) which the two political camps are hinging on.
“CCC observed technical flaws associated with either of the model, however resolved to uphold that which is a near compliance to ANLCA constitution under the prevailing circumstances.
“In this instance, Committee also observed that in consistent with the constitutional provision and procedures, that only the NEC as being constitutionally composited and presided over by a National President has the power to swear in members falling under the category of NECOM.
“Against this backdrop, the Committee in its wisdom recognizes the phrase “Sworn in” (as an oath of allegiance) to mean that, an elected or appointed officers are duly sworn in by an elected National President as noted in Section 7 of the Constitution 2013, under the subtitle; “Powers Of The National President. “For emphasis sake, section 7, (1)(g & k):
which states inter alia, that:
7(1g) “The president to appoint and inaugurate members of special, standing and adhoc Committees or other officers where and when necessary”
7(1k) Swear in members of the chapter executive officers, appointees and other officers, other than the elected National executive committee( those usually swear in by the organisation lawyer).
“Therefore, in strict adherence to the ANLCA Supreme Constitution 2013 as was agreed, the Committee hereby pledges its full support to ASECO and urges ASECO to go on with a Constituted and sworn-in NEC mode of election, which includes the;
National Vice president;
National Assistant Secretary; National Treasurer;
National Financial Secretary and National Publicity Secretary;
The Zonal Coordinator & Secretary West;
The Zonal Coordinator & Secretary East;
The Members of the Board Of Trustees; Members of ASECO;
The Chapter Executives (Chairman, Secretary, Financial Secretary and Treasurer)”