ANLCA Crisis: More Members Slams Proposed Controversial AGM
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
Concerned members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have condemned efforts allegedly by Chief Henry Njoku, perceived as an eerie and peripatetic chieftain of the association to use the duo of Dr. Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez to frustrate the group’s ongoing peace process.
Fist to fire the salvo was ANLCA’s interim acting National Secretary, Joe Sanni, who called attention to a proposed illegal AGM/NECOM election by the threesome, allegedly as part of efforts to either reverse the gains already recorded in their collective desire to put behind the five years crisis, believed to be partly precipitated by the above three persons, either individually or jointly; and or, to manipulate the peace process to emerge as new leaders of the association, with Kayode Farinto as president and chief Henry Njoku, as de facto president.
While outlining the convoluted plot in its grand design, Sanni warmed the general public and members of the association to be wary of the activities of the said persons which he described as desperate, cunning, immoral, illegal and unconstitutional.
In a signed statement made available to our reporter, Sanni provided a comprehensive account of the plot to derail the association’s peace process, with a view to foisting an unconstitutional procedure designed to engender the emergence of a united ANLCA’s leadership.
The statement reads: “The peace and reconciliation process in ANLCA, initiated recently by the Nigerian Police Force on the 12th January 2023 is under threat of imminent collapse due to the insincerity of Chief Henry Njoku, Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez.
“After the meeting of 12/01/2023 in the Area Commander-ACP Olusegun Ifelayo Ajamolaya’s office in Festac Town, another meeting between both parties was held at Sunfit Hotel, AMuwo Odofinas advised by the Area Commander, who had to passionately plead with the elders to assist in resolving the crisis.”
Sanni explained that the meeting at Sunfit Hotel was sponsored by Chief Ernest Elochukwu on the 13th of January 2023, who paid for the venue and the lunch forattendees; which comprise of all persons incidental to the protracted leadership schism.
“At both meetings were Chief Dennis Okafor (Vice Chairman of BOT), Prince Taiye Oyeniyi (Secretary-BOT), Chief Ernest Elochukwu (Member –BOT), Dayo Azeez (Member-BOT), Ag. National President-Pius Ujubuono, Kayode farinto, Mukaila Abdulazeez, Ozo Chukwura, Eniola Igbaraoola (aka Ennyman), Aloy Anokwuru, Gideon Nwagbaraocha, Oluwole Obe, Tope Akindele, Femi Anifowose, Adeboje, Emma Opara, Obicee Okonkwo, Joe Sanni and CSP Aduroja. Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Board Chairman was unavoidably absent.
“The meeting ended with an agreement to determine which Board of Trustees (BOT) should supervise the agreed elections, after agreeing on the proportion of composition of ASECO (Association Electoral Commission).
“Both parties have to sponsor the Police’s logistics to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Unfortunately, Kayode Farinto, Ozo Chukwura, Eniola Igbaoola and Mukaila Abdulazeez never bother about the proposed search by the Police at Abuja, because they know the truth about the authentic registered BOT, which status report nwas checked again on the 23/1/2023 and still shows the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led BOT as the only Board in existence in ANLCA.”
He further claimed that rather than respect the letters of the agreement reached by the factions, Njoku and those he described as the latter’s foot soldiers sought to introduce landmines as they veered off the accord and in its place, introduced arbitrary and divisive tactics he says are intended to achieve ulterior motives.
“Those that have participated actively in both meetings and are party to decisions jointly made have since two days after the Sunfit meeting decided to truncate the peace/reconciliation process by making pronouncements contrary to the spirit of reconciliation, writing letters inviting stakeholders to their proposed NECOM elections/AGM and taking actions that clearly contravened the efforts of Nigeria Police Force to mediate in bringing peace to ANLCA.
“Just yesterday- 2/2/2023, one of the tools in the hands of Chief Henry Njoku- Kayode Farinto- kicked off his presidential campaign which is part of the AGM/NECOM elections to be held in Benin, Edo State on the 7th of February 2023. Kayode is blinded by an unbridled ambition, which none of his convoluted supporters are unwilling to comprehend.
“First, Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez know that they do not have a registered BOT, which is recognized as the organ tp appoint ASECO and supervise elections in ANLCA’s extant Supreme Constitution 2008 at Section 13, Subsection 4 (d) & Section 22, Subsection 2(c-d).
“Secondly, Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez are fully aware that he has no legal, moral and constitutional right to call an AGM/NECOM election, as he intends to deceive the general public and especially gullible members of ANLCA into doing his bidding.”
Obviously agitated, Sanni described the actions of Chief Henry Njoku and the others as a clear violation of subsisting court order, which according to him has since outlawed the NECOM under which Kayode Farinto and Mukaila Abdulazeez served; and as such no longer in office.
“Kayode Farinto should also be aware that an order of Justice Lewis-Allagao on the 25th of March 2021 in Suit No. FHC/KN/CS/79/2021 is still subsisting till date unvacated. The Corporate Affairs Commission has drawn the attention of Mukaila Abdulazeez to this fact.”
Also condemning the controversial AGM, one of the industry’s shinning intellectuals and outspoken practitioner, who doubles as member of ANLCA, Chidi Anthony Opara, RFF, FIIM, CDOA, punctured hole in the proposed AGM, noting that those initiating it have as yet to show the legitimacy under which they purport to act.
The Registered Freight Forwarder and former ANLCA National Officer challenged Farinto and Abdulazeez to first of all establish their legitimate claim to office as a basis to call for an AGM, and as the exercise of an established incontrovertible authority.
Opara opined that failure to do so before the proposed AGM will only promote anarchy while the outcome of the said AGM may lead to nowhere.
He said, “News media reports have it that the Association Of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) would be holding an Annual General Meeting(AGM)soon to ratify decisions reached at the Police brokered peace meetings between the two warring factions who have been in and out of the courts for the past five years.
“Owing to the fact that this writer was a National Officer of ANLCA when most of the present players were either non players or peripheral players and also owing to the fact that the crisis in the foremost freight forwarding association has been heating up the subsector, one feels obliged to offer suggestion on what ought to be done before convening any Annual General Meeting.
“If the right things are not done prior to convening an Annual General Meeting, the gains made so far in the search for long lasting peace in ANLCA and by extension in the freight forwarding subsector would collapse and there would be a relapse to the ugly past.
“The fundamental imperative of any Annual General Meeting is that such meeting must have credibility and legality. Credibility and legality means that the outcome of the Annual General Meeting, no matter what it is, must be accepted by the majority and such outcome can be legally enforceable.”
An unbiased, objective and broadminded player, Opara outlined the likely challenges the proposed controversial AGM will throw up, and urged those involved in the current impasse to show respect for the rules and to be sensitive to the feelings of members, the image of ANLCA and the general public who are constrained to share in the poor national image and questionable integrity quotient of the Nigerian State to enforce court rulings.
“The problem with the proposed ANLCA Annual General Meeting is the issue of who would convene such meeting, flowing from this, is who would chair the meeting and who would record the proceedings. The chair and recorder would sign the minutes of the meeting. In normal circumstances, this would not be a problem, but the present circumstance is far from normal.
“A faction in the crisis claims to be the Executive Committee in place, because, as they claim, the court case challenging their position have been struck out, thereby, as they claim, making it imperative that they would convene the Annual General Meeting. It is however not yet known if the court made a definite pronouncement regarding affirmation of position while sticking out the case, just sticking out a case does not necessarily mean affirmation of position.
“If there was no definite judicial pronouncement affirming the position of the ANLCA National Executive Committee claimants and if they convene, chair, record and sign the proceedings of the meeting, the decisions reached would be fundamentally flawed legally and would definitely lack credibility, since it is not possible to place something on nothing both legally and morally.”
As a panacea, he proposed the following: “What should be done is for both parties to agree to set up an Annual General Meeting Organizing Committee whose sole term of reference would be to convene and announce the decisions of the meeting.
“Both factions would nominate persons. The Organizing Committee would have a Chairman and a Co-Chairman, a Secretary and a Co-Secretary, representing both factions.”, adding:
“The suggested Annual General Meeting Organizing Committee and its structure would give the outcome of the proposed ANLCA Annual General Meeting legality and credibility necessary for the enforcement of any decisions reached at the meeting.”