- Association’s Image Has Gone Down, Chairman, Mustapha
- No Leadership in ANLCA Currently- Elochukwu
- BOT’s Tenure Has Not Expired- Prince Taiye
By Shola Fadeyi
Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) , Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha(2nd right), his Vice, Chief Dennis Okafor(2nd left),Secretary , Prince Taiye Oyeniyi,(left) and Sir Ernest Elochukwu at the Meeting orgnised in Lagos last week by the BOT for the Western Zone members to find solutions to the lingering crisis in the association.
The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has said that it has begun to adopt new measures to ensure that the leadership crisis that has plagued the body comes to an end , even as its Chairman , Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha stated that the problem has affected the image of the association in the maritime sector.
The Chairman disclosed this in an interview with the Marineand economy after the meeting of the members of the Association in the Western Zone, called at the instance of the BOT, and which held in Amuwo- Odofin , Lagos yesterday, adding that the new strategies being pursued for peace to reign will soon yield positive result .
He said the meeting was one of the series of steps which the BOT has been taken to ensure that peace returns to the Association , adding that the idea was that the inputs gathered from participants at the meeting would be deliberated upon and utilized for taking the association out of crisis.Mustapha lamented that the crisis has made the image of the association to dwindle.
Mustapha traced the genesis of the crisis to the inability of the former Chairman of the Association’s BOT , Sir Henry Njoku and its current National President , Honourable Tony Nwabunike to abide by the agreement between the Igbo and the Oodua groups that the latter will produce the next Chairman of the Board since the other two key positions , namely the President and Chairman of the ASECO were held by the Igbos.
He said the anomaly created a situation that made Sir Njoku and Nwabunike to fail to recognize a validly held election organised by the BOT members in April ,2018 , where he emerged as the new Chairman, with five votes as against two for the opponents .
The BOT Chairman said despite all the overtures he made to Njoku to make him see reason that he has already lost the election , he explained that it was unfortunate that he has since then refused to accept defeat , but opted for court action through a proxy, while Nwabunike and the NECOM of the Association have also not recognized the Board.
Mustapha stated that Nwabunike allowed the crisis to fester because he refused to prevail on Sir Peter Obi, as he was advised to do, that the case, he instituted in court to the effect that the BOT members are illegal, for the fact that their names are not on the Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) record, as members of the Association ,should be taken out of court.
According to him ,while the ruling given by the Court on that matter , did not initially favour the Board , but the BOT had to move swiftly to go and regularize the registration anomaly , while it later got a ruling which ordered that the President and other members of the NECOM should no longer parade themselves as occupiers of their positions.
Mustapha said it was unfortunate that in the process of putting the records of the ANLCA straight at the CAC , it discovered that the Association has ceased to be a legal entity since 2001 as it has not been paying its annual dues to the body since then, adding that he had to personally offset all the arrears .
The Chairman however said that it was a good development that with the issuing of the Certificate of registration to the Board by the CAC on January 16, 2020 , and the ruling it got , it has been established that its tenure rightly started on that day, since the Court has earlier ruled that the about two years it used were null and void since they were then not registered with the CAC.
He said as a man of peace , he has written not less than five letters bordering on the road map to peace to the crisis to the President of the association and the NECOM, but that none of the letters was ever replied, while all the suggestions he has advanced in his discussions with Nwabunike on the same matter have never been utilised.
Sir Elochukwu in his own submission stated that despite all the peace moves that have been made by the BOT to find solutions to the crisis , the President and the NECOM have however made peace impossible, adding that this is why the Association has not moved forward since the beginning of the crisis.
He said since the leadership of the ANLCA has refused to give peace a chance because of its selfish motive , it would be better that the decision of the Court , which has declared the current NECOM as constituted , as an illegal body which has no mandate to continue to parade itself as such , should be allowed to prevail.
Elochukwu explained that the idea really was for the meeting to embrace all members of the association , so that the different shades of opinions on the way out of the crisis can be collated and worked upon , saying that the Board, as fathers of the association is however unrelenting in finding solutions to the on- going crisis in the association.
He pointed out that the association currently lacks good leadership for the fact that the NECOM has allowed the crisis to fester even in the face of series of ideas that have been brought forward as solutions , while the association has not moved forward because of the problem.
The Secretary of the Board , Prince Taiye Oyeniyi said it was not true that the tenure of the current Board as lapsed , explaining that constitutionally , the tenure started counting from the day , the members were appointed to office .He pointed out that the new development from the issuance of certificate of registration as members and the court verdict have made it clear that the Board has just begun its tenure.
He also disclosed that all the elections that have been held in some chapters by the NECOM were null and void for the fact that its members, flowing from the decision of the court are no longer recognised by law as holding their positions ,and due to the fact that constitutionally, the Court must ratify every election of the association for it to be legal.
The Board Secretary stated that the interest of each of the five legal BOT members , which according to him are the Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha,the Vice Chairman , Chief Dennis Okafor , Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Mr Dayo Azeez and himself lies at ensuring that peace returns to the Association as soon as possible, so that it can continue on the path of development.