BY FUNMI ALUKO
As the Association’s Electoral Committee (ASECO) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) conducts elections for members today into the National Executive Committee Committee (NECOM), those who had fraudulently obtained fake licences have been advised to have a rethink or meet their waterloo as the security agencies are billed to sniffed out the fakers for prosecution.
Those whose business it is to know say it will not be business as usual for those who are used to brigandage, thuggery and brute force in getting their way, since today will define the future of the association.
A source who asked not to be identified said “if we dont get it right today, then let us forget ANLCA’s healing and restoration, and that is why we went to the extra mile of ensuring that more security presence is required. In the open we will point out those with fake licenses because we know them.
“We cannot continue to repeat the same thing, if they have been carring fire on their head and we kept avoiding them, we have prepared for them and tomorrow they will know the difference, any of them with fake license will be arrested, not only arrested we will ensure they are charged to court.”
Recall that a faction of ANLCA has accused the Controller License & Permit, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Headquarters, Comptroller Joy of license issuance racketeering in favour of some members of ANLCA seeking to contest elective offices and or vote in the association’s election slated for today.
Those who raised the alarm have called on the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adenioyi MFR and his management to urgently wade in and stop the said fake licenses from been used during the election, adding that the customs service quick intervention will avert the bad image the development may give to the service.
Pinnacle Time gathered that efforts are in place not to allow fake licences to fly during the election, and to guide against this, watertight security arrangement with unbiased operatives are been made to fish out persons who have procured fake licenses to participate in voting or standing for election.
An insider who made the allegation and who does not want his name made known for security reasons, appealed to the leadership of the customs service not to allow the fake licenses have their way as they portend greater danger for operations of the service and the larger society; noting that fake licenses wears different characteristics.
He said, “We have different characteristics of operating licenses by dubious agents, they include those not renew for many years at the customs service level, includes holders of licenses that don’t pay dues at the association level for many years, and include expired licenses, and what we have seen now is this categories of licenses.
“We are calling on the Customs CG to investigate this development urgently because the integrity of the service is at stake, the customs management should investigate the Controller of License & Permit, Comptroller Joy, we have no doubt she clolluded with these desperate and fraudulent agents to come up with these fake customs .
“This license and permit controller has been compromised to issue unauthorized and fake licenses, there is a lot of fraud going on in that department that the leadership and management should probe.”
A chieftain of the ENSO Team (Emenike Nwokeoji and Segun Oduntan (ENSO), Chief Raymobd Oyimba described the final list released by ASECO as “a forbiden list that will enthrone impunity if allowed to go.”
It will be recalled that the Association’s Electoral Committee (ASECO) concluded the collation of voters licenses in the forthcoming National Executive Committee (NECOM) elections 2023 since last week, where a total of 40 licenses were believed to have scaled the collation exercise.
Following the conclusion of the screening exercise, news report indicated that many of the delegates screened by ASECO did not possess the 2023 valid Customs licenses and had rushed to the Customs headquarters Abuja in a last minute attempt to smuggle-in their licenses, even after expiration of the collation in accordance with ASECO rules and guidelines.
Although ASECO said that screening of the collated licenses would begin on Monday 4th of September 2023 at JoyGate Hotel and Suits along Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ajao Estate, Lagos, insiders said those desperate to subvert the electoral process have manipulated the original ASECO list to read 77, up from about the previous 40 names; swelling the list with the purported 37 fake licenses said to have been obtained fraudulently with the aid of the comptroller license and permit.
Further recall online media reports last week which indicated confusion amongst certain camps in the association for allegedly failing to meet up with the collation exercise because they did not possess valid licenses.
According to a grapevine, “There are indications that some groups want to storm the Customs Headquaters, specifically, the office of Licenses and Permits Controller. The submission of voters list has ended, but we have gathered that there is an attempt to sneak-in more licenses that are not hitherto registered.
“We want the Customs to be Apolitical as far as ANLCA Election is concerned. The CCC has imposed on ASECO to make use of the 2023 licenses as approved by Customs, this means that both ASECO members, Board members, and Voters must possess 2023 licenses renewed.
“This has caught many of the chapter executives unprepared as many of them do not have licenses. Many of them were still trying to process their licenses with the Customs. You know, when you are a chapter executive, you can get a lot of things done without licenses, and this usually make the chapter executives relax on their oars and not renew their licenses”, he explained.
The Chief Alloy Igwe led ASECO final list cleared a total of 19 contestants vyuing for various positions, in addition to the disputed 77 delegate voters.