BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) led by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha has debunked media report over the purported disqualification of two members of the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO), in respect of non possession of valid customs licenses, stating that no position has been adopted so far.
Although Mustapha confirmed that the allegation of non possession of operating licenses is currently been investigated, he said no action has been taken on the matter since “no report” has been submitted.
He urged everybody to go about their businesses and campaigns peacefully without seeking to create tension through misinformation, noting that everybody is determined to have a rancor free election.
It is believed that some members of the ASECO and others are currently been investigated by a Committee set up by the BoT to determine their membership status tied to the possession of valid customs licenses.
Those familiar with the politics of ANLCA says it is mandatory for anyone participating in the election, whether as contestants, voters and or electoral umpires to be up to date with his membership status, including the possession of a valid customs license in line with ANLCA Constitution.
Reports indicate that the Board’s Investigative Committee headed by a former President of ANLCA and current board member, Chief Ernest Elochukwu which began sitting on Saturday last week, reportedly received petitions that two members of the ASECO including the Chairman, Chief Aloy Nze Igwe and two other members of ASECO, Messrs Erasmus Okowa and Samuel Oluwale Obe.
In a petition by Enekwechi Onyimba Esq dated June 5 2023 addressed to the BoT Chairman, Oyinba called for the reconstitution of the electoral body, alleging that its chairman and the two other identified members do not own customs licenses and therefore cannot determine the elective fate of those with licenses.
The letter titled REQUEST TO RECONSTITUTE MEMBERS OF ASECO reads:
“This is to formally notify you of the ineligibility of ASECO chairman, Mr. Alloy Igwe, Mr. Erasmus Okowa and Mr. Samuel Oluwale Obe as members of ASECO of our great Association. My petition is premised on the fact that both of them have no operational Customs license which qualifies them to operate as agents and to be members of the Association in accordance with section 4(B) of the Constitution of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents.
“I consider this a moral burden to disclose because it is not only unconstitutional but also runs contrary to the principles of equity, good conscience and natural justice to vest powers on non-license owners to screen, qualify and disqualify bonafide members of the Association with subsisting operational licenses. Having lost their membership of the association, I respectfully urge you to relieve them of their appointment and cause a replacement from already screened members of ASECO.
“May I also draw your attention to the fact that appointment and swearing in of national officers or ad-hoc committee members are usually done in the properly constituted NEC meeting as stated in section 5(g) of our supreme constitution and not in the lardy of a hotel.”
According to dependable insider sources, the affected umpires are complaining that the Board is unfair to subject them to screening after their appointment. Persons close to some members of the board committee however explained that appointment into ASECO cannot be done in isolation of the general rules of the association and insisted that it would be illegal and immoral to allow them to preside over the fate of licensed agents, without possessing the requisite qualification.