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Freight Monitor

Freight forwarder cries out over heightened insecurity at Lagos  ports

Ibrahim Tanko

—says miscreants, robbers now invade APMT

— laments high non-compliance among freight forwarders

The Eyewitness Reporter

 

One of the foremost freight forwarders in the maritime industry and the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders( NAGAFF) 100 percent Compliance team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, has raised the alarm about what he described as burgeoning cases of insecurity at the Lagos ports.

According to him, undesirables elements such as robbers, beggars and other social miscreants, have now invaded the ports, sleeping and smoking Indian helms at the terminals.

Tanko, who is also the Vice-President, Western Zone of NAGAFF, made this startling revelation Thursday at the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria(MARAN) round table, a talk- show programme for industry players.

At the programme, Tanko lamented unrestricted access of these criminals into the ports despite the so-called multi-layer security mechanism of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Nigeria Port Police, the Customs and the terminal operators.

He specifically fingered the AP Mollers Terminal as the worst hit as the terminal has been literally turned into a marketplace.

”I have once written  letters to the Customs Area Controllers at Apapa, Tin Can and PTML commands over this issue but there seems no solution to the problem.

”If you go to the AMPT, Apapa, the place is like a market. There is too much crowd. Yo don’t even know who is who in that place.

”People sleeping and smoking Indian hemp at the APMT. The Terminal has become a haven for criminals and street urchins who molest genuine port operators in the terminal

Tanko further disclosed that these undesirable elements often trail their victims from inside the terminal till they reach outside the port before they strike, dispossessing them of their valuables and in few cases, killing them.

”There was a sad case of an agent who was trailed by these robbers right from inside the APMT terminal till they got outside the port where they robbed and killed him.

”In the process of robbing and killing their victim, the ID card of one of the robbers fell down which the police recovered.

”This led them to the criminal who confessed that they trailed their victim from inside the APMT.

”This shows the level of insecurity at the APMT terminal”, lamented the freight forwarder.

He therefore appealed to the Nigerian Ports police, the NPA and the Customs to tighten security at the ports because, ”as its is now , we are no longer safe doing our business at the ports”

He queried how those who have no business at the port could easily gain access into a place where is supposed to be a restricted area.

On the issue of extortion and harassment of freight foewarders by the Cutoms officers, Tanko blamed the audacity of the Customs to perpetrate this henious act on the high level of non-compliance among his fellow freight forwarders.

Tanko lamented that despite the efforts of the NAGAFF compliance team to stem the tide, non- compliance of freight forwarders to exant laws guiding  cargo clearing process is still very high.

”This issue of non- compliance is affecting genuine freight forwarders. On daily basis, our containers are being seized on the road by various units of Customs.

”Federal Operation Unit(FOU) of Customs , CG strike Force and Customs Police, at different points on the road, harrass and seize our containers.

He said all these atrocious acts are being visited on freight forwarders because they are not doing the right thing.

Tanko said that in as much as he was not holding brief for the Customs or justifying their acts of impunity, he blamed the non-compliant freight forwarders for their woes.

He said no Customs officer will first ask for money but the fright forwarder who refuses to do the right thing will instead induce the officers with money in order to cover his atrocities.

The NAGAFF chieftain declared that despite the appeal and campaign of his compliance team, which they started two years ago, the level of compliance among the freight agents is still less than 30 percent.

He said the benefits for doing the right thing far outweigh cutting the corners ”as nobody will be able to extort or harrass you, neither will they be able to seize your containers”.

”If you make correct declaration and pay correct duties, nobody will be able to extort you, harrass you, threaten you with Demand Notice or even seize your containers. You will go home and sleep soundly.

”You could even sue them if they dare seize your container in error”, Tanko admonished.

Tanko lamented that those of them in the compliance team are being witch-hunted, threatened and branded as enemies and saboteurs.

He however enjoined freight forwarders to always do the right things in order to safe themselves from the incessant harassment of the Customs officers.

 

 

 

 

 

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Freight Monitor

 We shall define who owns ANLCA after Nwabunike’s tenure ends in April 2023—-Prince Ozo Chukwurah

Prince Ozo Chukwurah

The crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) has become immutable and intractable, raging for close to four years now.

The protracted crisis, which was sparked off by a power tussle among the elders of the group for the control of the ANLCA,  has done incalculable damage to the association, having been polarised between the two contending gladiators: Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha group and Dr. Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT.

Prince Ozo Felix Chukwurah, who is one of the most visible chieftains of ANLCA and the Vice- Chairman of the association’s BOT, spoke with our reporter in a no-hold-barred interview and made a stunning revelation about the high wired politics among the contending factions and the hair-raising intrigues going on to claim the soul of ANLCA, reputed to be the oldest freight forwarding group in Nigeria.

He also shed light on the controversies on the BOT certificate while unsparing in his response to the personal attacks launched against him by one of the gladiators.  

 

Q. You and Farinto, the acting President of ANLCA, were said to have gone to Abuja to verify if the certificate of your BOT was truly withdrawn by the CAC.

It was further said, upon finding out the truth that the certificate has been canceled by the CAC, both of you slumped and went into a coma only to be revived by the medical team of the CAC. Could you tell us what really happened?

A.(bursts into derisive laughter)I have never been to Abuja in the last three months. Neither I  and Farinto have been to Abuja together in the last five months.

Unfortunately, it is only Joe Sanni, who is a loafer and their media attack dog that has been spewing incoherent responses to my clarification of their falsehood over the certificate.

Others in the group have maintained a dignified silence. In my clarifications which I made in my first interview, I made clear references with dates, mentioned names of individuals who are living, and even showed proof of the withdrawal of their certificate with a letter from the CAC.

They should refute it.

I also quoted court judgments, with references, the name of the court, dates of the judgment with the names of the Judge who gave the judgments against them.
Let them refute it.

I don’t want to join issues with a loafer called Joe Sanni.

If you don’t know, let me inform you that the first and only car Joe Sanni used in his life was given to him by Prince Ozo Chukwurah, free.
A lemon-colored Hyundai Car.

Anybody in ANLCA who knows the car Joe Sanni is using, I gave it to him. That will show you how close we were.

He once came to me that Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the former President of ANLCA was not doing anything to enhance his life. It was in my house I gave him that car.

After that, we started relating and I was opportuned to meet one of his brothers whom I complained to that Joe Sanni was behaving in an erratic manner in recent times.

That one told me a lot about his behavioural deficiencies.

Since I came to know his behavioral challenges, there was no abuse he could haul at me that will make me get angry.

Q. Sir, let’s quit being personal and address the real issue. What the other group is saying is that the letter which you mentioned that the CAC used to withdraw their certificate has been contested in court and the CAC has withdrawn it.

A. While the rabbit hardly enters the Lion hole is that he saw legs going inside but never saw the ones coming out.
If I showed the letter withdrawing their certificate, the onus of proof is on them to show the public the one restoring the same certificate.
Not for me to showcase it to them.

They should show us the letter, with dates and reference numbers, restoring the certificate.
They should also cite the court judgment with dates, reference numbers, and the Judge who restored their certificate.
All these I did for verification.

That is the most logical thing for them to do in order to disprove my claims, not resorting to incoherent, inconsequential, and banding falsehood as Joe Sanni was doing.

Our own certificate was signed by the same Judge who signed their 2020 certificate before the CAC eventually withdrew it.
Therefore, the judge is still alive.

It is easy for them to write to the Judge that someone has forged his signature and stamp. It would then be possible for the judge to cause my arrest and possible prosecution for forgery.

They know my house, am ready to face the consequences.

I never said their own certificate was fake or forged but at a stage, it was withdrawn.

They were registered January 2020. They were removed, and they became inactive 26th of August, 2022.

The Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT became active in September 2022.

This is the issue I want them to react to, they should prove that am lying.

We all went to the police to meet the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and the whole document have been submitted to him and the Area Commander, Festac.
And I submitted the document with a letter that the police should investigate if the certificate is fake.

Q. What is your group going to do to stop the other group from parading themselves as the authentic BOT despite the withdrawal of their certificate?

A. ANLCA is an association for voluntary members.

Many of these people fomenting trouble in the association have been sacked in accordance with the constitution of the association. They are not paying the mandatory annual subscriptions, so they are no longer our members.

The truth is that they know they have no standing. We remain the authentic BOT members, recognized under the constitution, for the next four years and there is absolutely nothing they could do about it.

Q. But they are still causing problems in the association.

A. Is Boko Haram not causing problems in Nigeria? Have they taken over Nigeria?
The minority will have their say but the majority will have their way. They are in the minority.

The most intelligent person among their group, in fact, the most intelligent freight forwarder in Nigeria that i recognize is Sir Ernest Elochukwu.
He knows the truth. If he is not saying the truth now, one day he would say it.

I know him and he knows me. We know ourselves and we have a group that is loyal to him.

Why he decided to join the Mustapha group is still a puzzle for some of his loyalists.

Q.Who is in control of the secretariat of ANLCA?

A. For now, the secretariat is a biblical child in the hands of King Solomon.

When we went to the Commissioner of police, he was asking for solutions, if we can do the 4-4-1 reconciliatory arrangement.
I was the one who told the Commissioner of police that we are no longer interested after the collapse of our initial reconciliatory efforts which they jeopardised.

Musthapha’s group is like a rampaging bull in a Chinese shop. The bull in a Chinese shop is for destruction.
In the biblical child in Solomon’s hands, the real and authentic mother is protecting the child while the other woman who is fraudulently claiming the ownership of the child when her own is dead, was saying the child should be divided into two. She preferred the child dead because it doesn’t belong to her.

So for those who have the interest of the association at heart and do not want it dead, we want it protected, but for those who do not have the interest of the association at heart, wanted it to die and many of them were not born when the association was formed.

Q. If this matter is not resolved, don’t you think they will make ANLCA ungovernable for the authentic BOT and NECOM?

A. Yes, they have already made ANLCA ungovernable for Tony Iju Nwabunike and his executives.
But I would not be able to tell you what will happen after the expiration of Nwabunike tenure in April 2023.

That will be when there will be proper clarification of who and who are the authentic BOT of ANLCA.
Our constitution is very clear on this.

If there is a crisis and there is no NECON, who should take over?
Our secretariat is under lock and key because the Mustapha group has no stake and that is what they want.

Q.Do you think there would be a peaceful transition after the expiration of Nwabunike’s tenure in April next year if this crisis is not resolved now?

A. When we get to the bridge, we shall cross it. They are not immuned to the laws of the country. The law will take its course at the appropriate time.
They can go their separate ways while we go our separate ways.

They can answer ANLCA 2 while we answer ANLCA 1.

Q. So you want them to factionalise ANLCA?

A. They have already fictionalised it.

They are answering ANLCA Western Zone but could not factionalise it in the East or North.

It is only in the Western Zone here that Musthapa can come to foment trouble. He dared not try it in the East.

Q. But how long will this destabilisation continue and be condoned?

A. As long as it is within the ambit of the law not to cause violence.
The inordinate struggle for power in ANLCA does not worth the drop of any member of the association.

Q. Are you now saying that the window of reconciliation is now closed after the initial peace move collapsed?

A. They are the ones who asked for a reconciliation in the first instance. Before the peace process ever commenced, they started to bring stringent conditions which eventually make the effort for peace dead on arrival.

Q. What happens if they now offer the hand of fellowship for reconciliation after the collapse of the first move?

A. The way things are now, I can’t see any possibility of reconciliation.

This is because we have made so much efforts at reconciliation which they sabotaged. The last peace move was the one we said they should bring four members, excluding Taiye Oyeniyi, to form a joint BOT.

That is the only one available but they seemed not interested as they were foot-dragging.

Q. Are you going to pardon those who you said were sacked if they show any interest in reconciliation again?

A. Why, Yes, the same process through which they were sacked will be activated for their pardon and reabsorption.

Q.But they said they never recognised their eviction from the association

A.But it is on record. It is still hanging on them. For life, the record is there.

Assuming ANLCA ceases to exist and you want to write the history of the association, that decision to sack them will be recorded for posterity.

Q. From your narratives, are you now foretelling that ANLCA will remain factionalised since you said they could bear the name ANLCA 2 while your group bears ANLCA 1? And you know other associations like NAGAFF have taken advantage of the crisis in ANLCA to wax stronger than the association reputed to be the oldest freight forwarding group in Nigeria.

A.Let me say this, NAGAFF is very powerful and has been able to square it up with ANLCA because of the crisis which did not even start now.
There have been crises intermittently from time to time in ANLCA which led Dr. Aniebonam to pull out from ANLCA to form this formidable association called NAGAFF.

But despite this, ANLCA will continue to exist.

Q. You said the Mustapha group has succeeded in factionalising the Western zone of the association. Does that me there will be two NECOM elections in the Western zone, having conceded the Western zone to them?

A.They have been doing their thing in the Western zone. They have been appointing people. But I am not interested in who they appointed.
They are entitled to their own decisions and actions and what they want.

Q. So they can be running parallel executives without any challenge from the authentic BOT?

A. They are entitled to what they want to do

Q. That means you have already conceded the Western zone to them

A.You are talking about conceding but am talking about legality.

Q. Why am saying this is who do the members defer to, the Mustapa group or your group?

A.That is where the main crux of the issue is. How many of the members believe in them? and how many believe in the authentic BOT?
If we have about 1000 members but about 10 or 20 are pulling us back, does it makes ANLCA collapse?  Nigeria is moving forward, is there peace in Nigeria?  Boko Haram and bandits are terrorizing the people.

Do you think President Buhari like the way these bandits are terrorizing the people? He would do everything within his power to stamp them out.

Q. Are you by any chance regarding the Mustapha group as terrorists of ANLCA?

A. I only make a proverb. I am not linking them to bandits or Boko Haram. I am only telling you that as big as Nigeria is, a few small boys are terrorising us in Nigeria.

Q. Are you then regarding them as dissidents in ANLCA?

A. I don’t, but you did. I told you one of them is my boss who I respect so much. So there is no way I can regard such a referred person as a dissident. Denis Okafor is also my friend. I must choose the right words to describe them. I still have respect for them.

Q. Despite doing what you thought was wrong in the association?

A. They could be making a mistake because they have been provoked by somebody. Not by Prince Ozo. Their provocation came from somewhere
We met the anger on the ground and what we need to do is to calm the anger down. However, every attempt to bring their anger down is not working. But that does not mean I should disrespect them.

Q. Despite all attempts to pacify them, they are still angry. Don’t you think there is more to it than meets the eye?

A. When a man is provoked, there should be a way of pacifying the anger. But if he insists to be angry despite your efforts to pacify him, it will get to a stage when you turn your back on him and ask him to do his worst.

So we are getting to a stage where we turn our back and tell them to kill the association so that it will be on record that they kill ANLCA. That is the stage we are at now, It is not a personal fight. It is only Joe Sanni that is taking it personal, hurling abuses at me.

But as I said earlier, I don’t want to bandy words with a loafer.

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Freight Monitor

ANLCA crisis: Ozo Chukwurah goes tough

— tackles Joe Sanni over character assassination
—challenges Mustapha group to refute withdrawal of certificate by CAC
The Eyewitness reporter
The protracted crisis currently rocking the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has taken a new dimension as Prince Ozo Chukwurah, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the association has come hard on Joe Sanni, a member of Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha- led group, over what he called his( Sanni) defamatory and derogatory statements against his (Chukwurah) personality
Prince Chukurah has last week granted an explosive interview where he make a stunning revelation over the controversy surrounding the two contending BOT certificates of the factional groups in ANLCA.
The ANLCA chieftain had explained with documentary evidence that the CAC certificate being paraded by the Mustapha-led group has been withdrawn while a court ruling has also barred members of the group from parading themselves as the BOT of the association.
Rather than addressing the crux of the contending issues through rebuttal, Mr Joe Sanni,  a member of the Mustapha factional group, instead launched a verbal war on the person of prince Chukwurah.
In a WhatsApp message on one of the industry WhatsApp platforms, Mr Sanni slandered Chukwurah by calling him unprintable names.
He described the ANLCA chieftain as ” cocky, deadly and master of the act of deception”
” Ozo is worse than a chameleon and a poisonous green snake under the green grass”
”One minute, he comes across as a peace-loving peace maker, the next minute, he is hacking, stabbing you on every part of your body”
”Ozo Chukwurah is a very dangerous animal in human skin for any normal human being to avoid any day, anytime, anywhere like a plague” declared Sanni
in a torrent of his offensive, derogatory and slanderous language.
In a reaction to these hurting invectives, Prince Chukwurah said in as much as the contending issues in ANLCA  Joe Sanni
are not personal and his desire was not to bandy words with Sanni, he needed to put the record straight by exposing the personality of his attacker.
  “I don’t want to join issues with a loafer called Joe Sanni.
“If you don’t know, let me inform you that the first and only car Joe Sanni used in his life was given to him by Prince Ozo Chukwurah, free.
“A lemon-coloured Hyundai Car.
“Anybody in ANLCA who knows the car Joe Sanni is using, I gave it to him. That will show you how close we were.
“He once came to me that Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the former president of ANLCA was not doing anything to enhance his life. It was in my house I gave him that car.
“After that, we started relating and I was opportuned to meet one of his brothers whom I complained to that Joe Sanni was behaving in an erratic manner in recent times.
“That one told me a lot of his behavioural deficiencies which include his total lack of respect for his parents.
” By insulting me, he has insulted his father because I am like his father.
”Anybody who insults his elders has insulted his father.

“Since I came to know his behavioural deficiencies, there was no abuse he could haul at me that will make me get angry” Chukwurah declared.
He also scoffed at the outlandish claims made by Sanni that both himself and Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the association went and collapsed at the CAC office on November 16th, in Abuja where they had gone to confirm and eventually found out that their BOT certificate had been cancelled.
“It took the efforts of the medical personnel of the CAC to revive them” Joe Sanni has also claimed in his WhatsApp posting.
In a derisive gesture, Chukwurah dismissed the claims as fallacious which he said was consistent with the character and personality of the person who made them.
“I have never been to Abuja in the last three months. Neither I and Farinto have been to Abuja together in the last five months.

Taiwo Mustapha

“Unfortunately, it is only Joe Sanni, who is a loafer and their media attack dog that has been spewing incoherent responses to my clarification on their falsehood over the certificate.

“Others in the group have maintained a dignified silence.
“In my clarifications which I made in my first interview, I made clear references with dates, mentioned names of individuals who are living and even showed proof of the withdrawal of their certificate with a letter from the CAC.
”They should refute it.
“I also quoted court judgements, with references, names of the courts, dates of the judgement with the name of the Judge who gave the judgement against them.
“Let them refute it.
“I don’t want to join issues with a loafer called Joe Sanni,” he declared repeatedly.
(read the full interview of Prince Ozo Chukwurah on this platform this Tuesday)
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Freight Monitor

CAC exposes deceit of Mustapha- led ANLCA BOT

Taiwo Afolabi{L} Ozo Chukwurah,

 

—withdraws certificate of registration
—-court declares body illegal.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has unveiled the veil of deceit and shenanigans under which Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha -led Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has hidden.
It could be recalled that the ANLCA, since 2018, has been engulfed in a protracted crisis that was sparked off by the internal wrangling within the association’s BOT where Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and his group wanted to take over through illegitimate methods.
In the course of the crisis, which has polarised the association and fictionalised the board, the Mustapha-led group has approached the CAC in 2019 to legitimize his faction of the BOT through registration.
In what later turned out to be a misleading procedural process, the CAC inadvertently issued the faction a certificate in January 2020.
However, an investigation revealed that the CAC, having been briefed about the illegitimate procedural process through which Mustapha- led group procured the certificate, consequently withdrew the document via a letter dated March 3rd, 2020 with reference number CAC/GCE/VOL.1/2020/068 and signed by one Abdul Hakeem Mohammed and addressed to Chairman, BOT, ANLCA.
The letter reads inter Alia
“We have observed that the advertisement you made while registering the Trustees was made on the 18th day of March 2019 while the case at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos was pending.
” We have also observed that the suit in Lagos was bordering on the appointment of Trustees.
” Consequently, the advertisement was made ILLEGALLY and the subsequent filing in November 2019 became UNLAWFUL and of no effect whatsoever.
” In view of this, the commission herewith CANCELLED the certificate issued to you on the 16th day of January 2020.
” You are hereby to return the certificate immediately”
A member of the purported board, Chief Peter Obi, was copied.
To further legalise the zeal of illegitimacy put by the CAC on Taiwo Mustapha- led BOT, Justice Aikawa of the Lagos Federal High court on October 11, 2019, disqualified Alhaji Mustapha as the Chairman of ANLCA BOT.
In the suit No FHC/L/CS/1274/2018 and filed by Sky Sail Nigeria Limited and Chief Peter Obi as the plaintiff against the Registered Trustees of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike and Taiwo Mustahapha as the defendants, Justice Aikawa made the following pronouncements in his ruling in the 13-page judgement.
”I hereby made an order of injunction restraining the 1st defendant(registered trustees of ANLCA} and the 2nd defendant{Tony Nwabunike} from recognising the 3rd defendant{ Taiwo Mustapha} as the Chairman of the board of trustees of ANLCA.
” I hereby made an order of injunction restraining the 3rd defendant{Taiwo Mustapha} from parading himself or acting as the Chairman of the board of trustees of ANLCA.
”I hereby made an order declaring void the purported election to change the leadership of the board on the 13th of April, 2018 and the communique issued thereof”
The judgement of Justice Aikawa was neither appealed nor vacated to date by the defendants.
Explaining why the National Executive Council of ANLCA has failed to enforce this ruling as well as leverage on the CAC disclaimer on Mustapha-led BOT, Prince Ozo Chukwurah, the Vice-Chairman of the recognised BOT of ANLCA said the association was merely tolerating the intransigence of Mustapha’s group despite its illegitimate claims on the BOT in order to give peace a chance and thinking that the group will eventually embrace the olive branch extended to them.
He explained that it was the desire of the NECOM and the authentic BOT to broker peace with their estranged members that made them condone what he called the excesses of the Mustapha group.
”The CRFFN tried to intervene in the crisis. The Council called Mustapha and me{Ozo Chukwurah} and we had a deal.
”Firstly, four members of the BOT from our side and four from Mustapha’s side would come together to form a new board so that peace would reign.
This was before we got our certificate.
”I accepted to step down and prevailed on the other four people in our group to join me to make five that will step down so that the remaining four BOT members would join the four members chosen by the Mustapha group to form a new board.
”We also agreed to conduct an election for one from our side and one from their side and whoever wins will join the eight chosen people to make nine members on the new board.
”Mustapha accepted in the presence of the Chairman of the CRFFN, Abubakar Tsanni, who tried to broker the peace. The truce meeting was held at Apapa in August 2022.
”The second deal was that Prince Taiye Oyeniyi had to withdraw his membership of the board from their group because he has served out his two terms of six years each.
”That Mustapha should convince Oyeniyi not to be among the four people his group will choose for the compromised board. He agreed. The CRFFN Chairman is my witness.
”The third and final deal was that everything Tony Nwabunike has done legitimately while in office should be binding because it was the board’s problem we were solving, not NECOM’s.
”His tenure was forced to be cut short by not being allowed to go for the second term but extended by one year according to the general decision at the AGM/NEC meeting in Owerri.
”The decision to conduct the BOT election in Owerri was legitimate and so it is binding on all of us.
”So all the people Nwabunike elected, even before the BOT election in Owerri must stay in office, till their tenure expired. That is the Chapter chairmen and they will do one term of four years, no more the second term.
”But Musthapha argued in favour of three of the Chapter Chairmen of their group in Apapa, Tin Can and MMA. He said we should share the Chapters.
I said those men could not continue to be in office because they have served more than six years.
”They started with Prince Shittu and when Shittu left, they continued with Tony Nwabunike.
I said no, it is not done. I can accept everything but not this one.
”I told him as the BOT member or Chairman, you have no right to elect any officer of the association. Our constitution does not permit him to do so.

At this point, there was no agreement on the third proposal because Musthapha was trying to accommodate his three chapter chairmen whom he elected.
He was also dillydallying on convincing Taiye Oyeniyi to withdraw his membership of the BOT.
”There was no agreement on these two areas before we left the presence of the CRFFN Chairman. As a result of the disagreement on the third condition, the truce broke down”, Prince Chukwurah explained.
He traced the genesis of the protracted crisis in the association to the internal wrangling within the BOT that was sparked off by the 2018 NECOM elections in Enugu.
”There was an election of NECOM. Shittu supported Emenike while Henry Njoku supported Tony Nwabunike. The election was conducted in Enugu in 2018 and won and lost.
”That was the beginning of the present crisis in the association.
”Tony Nwabunike won the election with three votes against his opponents.
The BOT then took a decision among themselves that they will have a chairman, Vice chairman and Secretary for administrative convenience.
This was not in our constitution though.
”They chose to make these changes in the BOT a day before the inauguration of Tony Nwabunike. That was the beginning of the crisis in ANLCA.
These changes sparked a crisis within the board and not in the NECOM.
”That was when we started hearing that Henry Njoku was the Chairman, Taiwo Mustapha was the Chairman. there was a crisis.
It was five people against three people. That was the genesis of the whole crisis.
”Tony Iju continued to run his government. They brought the matter to Nwabunike to intervene and he told them that he just resumed and that they should give him a few months to settle down.
”When they realise that Tony was not forthcoming in settling the matter and the tenure of the crisis-ridden board was going to an end, especially the people on the second tenure on the board, Peter Obi and Henry Njoku went to court seeking clarification. The court then clarified who and who are the real members of the board.
”The court mentioned the names of the four people who are bonified members of the board, Peter Obi, Taiye Oyeniyi, Henry Njoku and Late Aare Sani Shittu.
It was obvious that even though, we elected other members of the board but their names were not registered with the CAC.
That does not make them illegal.
”Eventually, those ones went to the CAC and got their names registered. Such as Taiwo Mustapha and other new members. Also Henry Njoku, Taiye Oyeniyi and Peter Obi were all registered as they were supposed to be to make them legal members of the board.
”I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of how some of them who were given money to register their name embezzled the money which made the registration be done late.
”At a time, Mustapha headed the board for ten months in the interim and he could not get the board registered.
The crisis was internal wrangling within the board while the association was moving smoothly.
”Eventually, the board got registered and got the certificate a month before the expiration of their six years tenure in February 2020, including the second tenure of the old members. They were registered in January 2020.
”When people said their certificate was fake, I, Prince Ozo Chukwurah, investigated and found out that their certificate was genuine.
Their certificate was never and is not fake until the CAC withdrew it.
”After the expiration of the tenure of the board in February, the old members such as Peter Obi, the late Sanni Shittu and Henry Njoku said they are no longer serving because they have served out their two-term.
”Only Taiye Oyeniyi refused to resign. He said his own second term started in January 2020 when the board was registered.
”However, according to the court ruling when Peter Obi and Henry Njoku went to court for clarification before Justice Aikawa, the Judge ruled that the nature of the board members start to run from the day they were elected and not the day the certificate was issued.
”The same pronouncement is in CAMA 2020 signed by President Buhari.
”When they said their tenure started in January 2020, I began to wonder what happened to all that you did as BOT members, including the 2018 election you supervised at Enugu and other elections within that six years.
”How would you now start another six years that are not recognised by our constitution?
When their tenure expired in February 2020, the NECOM constituted ASECO and called for an AGM at Owerri to hold the election for the new BOT members.
”The Governor and Deputy Governor of Imo state were in attendance. We advertised the AGM and the election.
The five people who only have served out their first tenure are entitled to contest in the Owerri election for their second tenure but they pulled out as a result of their anger with the President of the association, Nwabunike for not recognising them.
”However, Justice Aikawa in his ruling has compelled the President of the association, Tony Nwabunike not to recognise Taiwo Mustapha group as the BOT members or have any dealing with them or Mustapha as BOT chairman.
”The court ruling was not challenged or appealed by them. The judgement still subsists and is not vacated.
The court expressly mentioned Taiwo Mustapha that he should not parade himself as the BOT chairman nor be recognised by ANLCA NECOM as such.
They haven’t appealed the court judgement to date.
”So we conducted the BOT election in Owerri and I actually came tops and constitutionally and as the person with the highest votes cast, i am supposed to be the Chairman of the Board.
”But because of equity and fairness, I agreed to play a second fiddle to Dr Afolabi Taiwo because Tony Iju, an Ibo man is already the President and I, Prince Ozo Chukwurah, an Ibo man cannot also be the chairman, even though I won the election.
”I accepted honourably to step down and be the Vice to Dr Afolabi. We went to the AIG all in a bid to find peace, but there was no peace.
Tony Iju, as the [president, conducted the BOT election through the ASECO appointed by the NECOM. So any decision made by him as the president was binding on all the members of the association.
”At that Owerri AGM/ NEC meeting, we took a decision aimed at ending the protracted crisis in the association.
We decided that the six-year two tenure of the BOT members should be reduced to a single term of six years.
The two-term four-year tenure of the President should be reduced to a single term of five years while the three-year two terms of Chapter chairmen should be reduced to a four-year single term.
”These amendments and decisions were ratified at the AGM/ NEC meeting in Owerri.
However, Nwabunike said that having taken this decision, they should allow him to go for his second term of another four years.
We all said no, that will make it eight years.
”We pressurised him to drop such ambition and he agreed but we all asked him to use another year to make up the single term of five years.
So effectively, Nwabunike started the single term of five years and it was the decision ratified at the Owerri AGM/NEC meeting.
The Taiwo faction who did not participate in the AGM in Owerri where the decision was made said Nwabunike could not enjoy the law that he was part to make.
”They went to two courts, one after the other, to challenge him but they lost the two cases.
”The Taiwo Mustapha group continued to parade themselves as BOT members in contempt of the court, using police to harass the authentic BOT members and other law-abiding members of the association.
”However, I sought the advice of a high-ranking police officer whose name I won’t mention, on the way forward.
He advised me to get our newly elected board registered.
”He said the Mustapha group was registered but our own board was not, so we should do the needful.
”We then approached the CAC for registration but we were told that we have court cases and that until we vacate them, they will not register us.
So we went to all the courts with pending cases and we vacated them.
The Mustapha group did not appeal any of them to date.
They only had restraining orders which have expiring dates.
”Their orders expired and an order cannot supersede a judgement on the same issue.
With all the cases against us vacated, we once again approached the CAC for registration.
The CAC then said before they register us, we must settle all outstanding debts owed by ANLCA to date which run into millions of naira.
That our association has not made any financial returns for many years.
Myself, My BOT members and NECOM members started contributing money from our personal pockets because the crisis stalled the effective running of the association.
”The Mustapha group which is holding the chapters are not remitting money to the association purse.
We eventually liquidated all the outstanding debts. We paid up till 2021.
Our own board led by Dr Taiwo Afolabi paid.
”Then we were asked to publish our elections, the venue and that we are the authentic BOT members.
We put the notice in national newspapers for 21 days and nobody challenged it.
The CAC asked its legal department to scrutinise all our documents before we were eventually registered on the 7th of September,2022.
Also, old members ceased to be active on the 26th of August, 2022.
”By implication and in the eye of the law, old members of the BOT, who are Taiwo Mustapha and his group, were authentic members and recognised by law in CAC books, the BOT until 26th August 2022 before they became inactive and ceased to be active members of the BOT.
We got the certificate and took it to our Chairman in his house for presentation”
Prince Chukwurah however dismissed the insinuation that the CAC has cancelled the certificate of Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT, saying it was the antics and deceit employed by the disbanded Mustapha-led BOTto mislead the general public.
”I dare anybody to contest our certificate. They should go to the police and the court to contest the genuineness of our certificate or show that our certificate has been withdrawn as being falsely claimed.
Enough of this their childish play before lives are lost. They should be cautious before the other group which they have pushed to the wall suddenly turns back and face them and match their violence with violence.
”We are however still open for negotiation for peace to reign. We are the authentic BOT recognised by law and we are in charge.
They can foment trouble but we do all within our power to protect the entity called ANLCA which was formed before some of them were born.
We shall serve out our tenure, irrespective of their violence and destruction.
 By December this year, we shall be two years in office and we have four more years to go, we don’t intend to abdicate our office before our tenure expires in 2026′
 Prince Chukwurah however solicited the support of all members so that Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT can succeed.
He said he has paid his dues and made lots of sacrifices for ANLCA, adding that it is now his turn.
”The Mustapha group has continued to unleash violence on the people, closing the secretariat because they have no stake.
At a point, we decided that the two groups should go their separate ways and that enough is enough.
We, therefore, decided to sack them from the association.
”We said we don’t want to associate with them anymore. All their activities are anti-association.
An individual cannot be bigger than the association.
”However, I proposed at our truce meeting with the CRFFN that the sacked members should be recalled at the NEC meeting.
Mustapha said they didn’t recognise the sack but I said it was hanging on your neck, and he could not do anything.
”Today, EMILOKON.
I have served them. I have supported them. Today, it is my turn. I  am the Vice Chairman of the BOT and they should support me and my team.
”The Musthapha group is deceiving the public with the false narratives they are pushing to the public that our certificate has been cancelled by the CAC.
There is nothing further from the truth. They are a drowning group looking for anything to hang on to save their impending doom.
”They should show the world the letter of the purported withdrawal of our certificate by the CAC.
But I will show the public the letter that the CAC issued to withdraw their own certificate”.
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