ANLCA: Afolabi elected factional BOT chairman
As Registered Board maintain studied silence over purported expulsion
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) recently announced the election of business mongul and Chief Executive Officer of Sifax Group, Barr. Taiwo Afolabi as the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT).
The election of the factional chairman is coming on the heel of the association’s emergency Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last year in Owerri, which was however denounced by the Registered Board of Trustees, led by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, as illegal, null and void.
The controversial election which held at Afolabi’s Marriot Hotel Ikeja Lagos, also announced the CEO of Systems Marine, Prince Ozo Chukwura as the factional Board Vice Chairman. Others reportedly elected include Chief Kingsley Offor, as factional Board Secretary.
Arising from the said election, the factional BOT and the National Executive Committee (NECOM), summarily announced the expulsion of members of the Registered Board of Trusttees, including Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Chief Ernest Elochukwu, Prince Taye Oyeniyi, Chief John Ofobike, Mr. Temitope Akinyele and Mr. Joe Sanni.
In addition to their said suspension, Mustapha and his registered BOT members had their various corporate organizations equally delisted from the register of the association, reportedly on the recommendation of a Disciplinary Committee headed by Dr. Kayode Farinto, the embattled court suspended Vice President of ANLCA.
The development which has been described by industry observers as shenanigan taken to the the extreme, queried where the factional NECOM and BOT derived its powers from, in view of the suspension of NECOM by the Federal High Court, with the factional BOT as an infant of alleged unconstitutionality.
While the embattled chieftains of the registered BOT have kept mum over the development, Mr. Joe Sanni, Media Adviser to the Registered BOT dismissed the suspension as an act of ignorance and sheer demonstration of utter disregard for law and order.
Sanni further explained that the actions of the court suspended NECOM remains a perpetual nullity, noting that all instruments of authority resides in the registered BOT led by Mustapha, in addition to valid court judgments which he said, individually and severally has sacked the association’s NECOM, and commanded it to stop parading itself in office.
Sanni in a statement made available to our reporter said, “For ease of understanding, ANLCA is a registered name with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), according to the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA 2008 (as amended) at sections 1, 13, 14, 22 (2)(d) and Subsection 8.
“According to the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA at especially Section 13, Subsection 1, (a)(iii) : “ Sue or be sued in its corporate name.
“At Section 13 (1): “The association shall establish a Board of Trustees (hereinafter referred to as “the Board”) for the Association which shall be incorporated subject to the provisions of the Companies and Allied matters Act Part C, Section 673.
“Flowing logically from the above provisions, the Board membership holds forth the association, and all authorities derive from it. Presently, and effective 16th of January 2020, the association is held in trust by the members of the BOT, listed on the current certificate.
“The six-year tenure of the current Board commenced on the 16th of January 2020, having been issued the official certificate of registration by the CAC, with eight names of nine on it, originally elected in Warri- Delta State on the 13th of February 2014.
“The CAC has not only issued a certified true copy (CTC) of the BOT Certificate, as directed by Justice Oguntoyinbo in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/599/2020, but has also gone ahead to decline entertaining a request by Tony Iju, Mukaila and Kayode Farinto to register their illegal, fake BOT selected on the 16th of December 2020 in Owerri – Imo State because they (CAC) are defendants in several cases the matter, and therefore subjudice.”
The statement reads further: “As at today that so called BOT that took clowning to a different, ridiculous level at Marriot Hotel Ikeja on the 22nd of June 2021, have been judicially banned by Justice Lewis-Allagoa in Suit No. FHC/KN/CS/79/2021, from parading themselves as members of the BOT of ANLCA”, adding:
“As of date, their so called BOT they deceived into collaborating to hold a NEC meeting, have not been certificated or registered by any recognized regulator. All those in that unrecognized BOT are merely playing to the gallery, as they are aware that they couldn’t put something or anything on nothing. There is just no basis for it to happen.”
Commenting on the latest development, Sanni said, “On their current idiotic and outlandish, so called expulsion of those who they should be apologizing to for their childish misdemeanors, they should tarry a while and study the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA 2008 thoroughly.
“They will discover to their own surprise and dismay that they do not have a properly constituted NEC (National Executive Council); No registered BOT in attendance, no National Officers (NECOM in the legal and true meaning)in attendance, no Chapters’ representations, etc.
“The Committee headed by Kayode Farinto is status barred, as he has no moral/legal authority to preside over the Committee or parade himself as the NVP, having been restrained from doing so by Justice Rilwan Aikawa since 26th August 2020/9th February 2021.”
Also commenting on the leadership schism, erudite freight forwarder and former chieftain of ANLCA, Mr. Chidi Tony Opara, described the development as a fallacy. In a statement he titled “The Fallacy of the Purported Recent Expulsions in ANLCA”, he asked:
“Who the heck is even advising this faction of ANLCA (the suspensions and expulsions side)? Do they and their advisers understand that corporate bodies (ANLCA members) have distinct legal personalities from their officers (representatives).
“In this situation and in case of punishment, there has to be distinct presentations of evidence of offences committed. The offences of representatives cannot be used to punish distinct legal persons (corporate bodies).”
Opara further avered: “The fallacy of the recent expulsions in ANLCA cannot be over emphasized.”
Grapevine reports that whereas the factional BOT Chairman, Afolabi, has continued to give tacit support calculated to worsened the crisis, he allegedly plays the dual face by hiding behind the curtain, a development ascribed to his election as Chairman BOT, in absentia.
“Afolabi has been trying to be clever by half, he funds the crisis and hides behind the curtain, but he cannot go on hiding, we are going to bring him out soon”, a source who pleaded anonymous volunteered, adding:
“Soon those who don’t know him will come to know him well. We will remove all false cover and let Nigerians know man for what he is. Some of us had thought as a respected tycoon, he will keep away but we have been proved wrong. Since he has decided to play the spoiler, we will now meet him half way and tell him not to use Sifax Group money to insult us. ”