CRFFN Election: Umar Petitions HMOT, Says Chi, Ibrahim, Njoku, Others Victory Fraudulent
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
A chieftain of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Umar Akanbi Ibrahim has dismissed he recent governing council election of the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) as a naked fraud and charade, noting that Princess Chi who purportedly won a seat on the Northern Airport of ANLCA neither belong to nor represent the northern zone.
The former executive of ANLCA Abuja Airport Chapter said those who supervised the election merely bought into allocated votes orchestrated by some money bags, which eroded the electoral exercise of any semblance of respectability.
In a petition to the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, Ibrahim a registered Freight Forwarder with registration number RFFI001348 operating at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, FT, Abuja further alleged that Princess Chi who scored 244 votes, being also the highest votes purportedly polled a the election nationwide, was not known nor domiciled with any known address in the Northern Zone; and therefore cannot represent Freight Forwarders in the Zone.
He lamented that the election was a naked rape of fair play, echoing the general worry that some elements became hell bent in getting into the governing council just in order to partake of the official largesse expected out of project allocations.
He further lamented that the idea behind the 15 member governing council, which is to drive progress and development have been overtaken by personal narrow considerations.
A copy of the petition written on March 11, 2022, and sighted by or reporter reads:
“That the candidates especially of the Northern AIRPORT with highest vote cast overall in Nigeria was not known nor domiciled with any known address in the Northern Zone therefore cannot represent the Freight Forwarders in the Zone.
“That same apply to the Candidate with highest votes cast for in the Eastern Zone, Airport/and Borders, who does not reside, nor have any registered address anywhere in the Eastern Zone as a CRFFN registered member, therefore cannot represent the freight forwarders of airports in eastern Zone.
“That he was at the venue to cast his vote as No: 72 and observed that majority over 90% of accredited votes is strange faces and not known to him as registered freight forwarders in the zone, especially Abuja FCT members.”
Alhaji Umar Ibrahim argued in his petition to the minister that the conduct of the election was constitutionally flawed and fraudulent, for failure to follow the duly prescribed electoral processes and guidelines, a clause of which he said recommended that a freight forwarder must be known by the generality of practitioners in a zone he or she wishes to represent in the election.
“The Guideline permits freight forwarders that do Not have registered address in a particular Zone to vie for office as a representatives of the generality of freight forwarders of a particular zone.”
He appealed to the transportation minister to cancel the election and order a re-run where the laws and guidelines will be obeyed, to avoid chaos in the freight forwarding industry; even as he called for the cancellation of the results of others declared winners, including Chief Henry Njoku, Tanko Ibrahim, Ndubuisi Uzoegbo and others.
The petitioner through his lawyer threatened to drag the ministry, CRFFN and others to court should the minister fail to act on his petition.
“Our Client is registered Freight Forwarder and notable leader in the zone, who intend to forestall a breakdown of law and order if this injustice is sustained by the Honourable Minister and might approach the law court if this anomaly is not corrected immediately.”
It will be recalled that some licensed customs agents and freight forwarders who participated in the governing council described the exercise as a travesty of fair play and justice, noting that they do not expect anything meaningful to come o of the governing council to be so constituted.
They accused the ministry and CRFFN of compromise which encouraged massive vote- buying with market women and okada riders registered as voters.
In the face of the proposed failed 6:6:1:1:1 sharing formula for the governing council, certain individuals are believed to have clearly compromised the supervising authorities not only to perpetrate themselves in office. but also to use their ill gotten wealth to allocate victory to some persons to get into the governing council, as a pay back for old debts or injury caused such persons, in some past political contests.
Above is reminiscent of the wins garnered by candidates in the Eastern Zone, through which an eastern political maverick also referred to as the eastern serpent, sought to reinvent himself as the god father of ANLCA eastern politics.
Industry observers say the only reason certain registered freight forwarders seek to perpetuate themselves in the governing council is no more than the lucre of office, and nothing more.
Sadly, the governing council is in urgent need of reinvention, focus and growth. They observed that majority of those thrown up in the current exercise are old wine in new gorge, incapable of fostering new direction.