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Four months to expiration of tenure: APFFLON asks CRFFN Registrar to proceed on terminal leave

National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite.
–Alleges protection from prosecution by ministry of transportation
The Eyewitness reporter
The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, (APFFLON) has called on the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barrister Samuel Nwakohu to immediately proceed on a terminal leave preparatory to his disengagement from the council.
The four-year tenure of Barrister Nwakohu as the Registrar of the CRFFN ends in February 2023.
He was appointed in February 2019.
Making the call for his immediate disengagement was the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite.
Otunba Ogunojemite, who was a guest Thursday at the roundtable event organised by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, (MARAN) in Lagos, observed that the immediate disengagement of Samuel Nwakohu from the  CRFFN was imperative due to the fact that the council has derailed from its core mandate under the leadership of the Registrar.
The APFFLON president said the Registrar has to give way for a thorough and comprehensive reformation of the council to take place.
While urging the council to focus more on reformation than its present preoccupation on accreditation, Ogunojemite lamented that this misplaced priority by the board has affected the image of the body which he said harbours redundant accredited associations.
The APFFLON president alleged unholy collaboration between the CRFFN Registrar and the supervising ministry of Transportation which he claimed was shielding the Registrar from prosecution despite the avalanche of allegations against him.
“There is an issue that needs to be addressed, for instance, the Registrar is supposed to be leaving the Council because this is his 4th year, he is supposed to have proceeded on terminal leave to hand over, while there is supposed to be vacancies for the next Registrar.
” But we do not know the collaboration between the Permanent Secretary and the Registrar that makes them to be keeping the Registrar.
“There are a lot of allegations against the Registrar, we did not see the outcome; we are just being kept incommunicado.
“So it is not accreditation that matters to APFFLON but reformation of the industry, we want to be proud of our industry.
“We had a meeting sometime ago and the purpose of the meeting was for the reformation in the industry.
“We had issues with the CRFFN in the court and we have started processing to come out of court based on the response that things we want should be done in the Council.
“APFFLON found that a lot of people have violated the Council’s Act, for instance, it is in section 19 of the CRFFN Act, that if you do not pay your subscription within six months, you should be deregistered, we found that so many associations did not pay for years, and they have not been deregistered.
“For God’s sake, we are not on an animal farm. It is people who claim to be accredited and you have an issue that is supposed to be addressed by the Council and you went to court, which automatically earns you expulsion, and it is not being done. Then you want the Council to be effective when people violate the Act.
“We can rate those that have been accredited, what are their achievements? What are they doing? Accreditation is little to APFFLON what is important is reformations.
“His (Registrar) tenure is ending, he should proceed on terminal leave, we need reformation, and we want the Council to work.
“We are ashamed to present our Council with others like the lawyers, engineers etc.
“Look at the issue of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, FIATA, how can the Council represent us in FIATA?
” It is never done; it is supposed to be an umbrella for all the freight forwarders than to be representing us at FIATA.
“There is an extent to which professionals can make decisions in the Council because the government has half and we have half. So how do we agree to disagree? So the issue for APFFLON is the reformation of the industry.
“There is no accredited association in this country because all of them are not competent to be accredited. Some of them have not paid their subscriptions, and the Act says if you do not pay, you will be deregistered.  They said the only disqualified association APFFLON.
“APFFLON is overqualified, we have over 1000 members we are up to date. Some of them are inactive except APFFLON.” Ogunojemite claimed.
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Freight Monitor

ANLCA cracks

Emenike Nwekeoji , ANLCA President
–ASECO chair resigns, cites internal pressure, backbiting, distrust
— insurrection at MMIA chapter as coup against chairman foiled 
The Eyewitness Reporter
Six months after the highly factionalized elections which brought in the duo of Emenike Nwekeoji and Olusegun Oduntan as the National President and Vice President respectively of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in September 2023, the graveyard peace which heralded the pyrrhic victory seems to have ruptured.
The fragile peace, which was the fallout of the five years of bitter and intractable war that sent the oldest freight forwarding association to a state of inertia, now seems to have given way to distrust, bickering, animosity, suspicion and repressed anger among the top echelon of the association.
To underline the smouldering fresh crisis that has hit the association, Nze Aloy Emeka Igwe, the Chairman of the Association Elections Committee(ASECO )of ANLCA, has resigned his appointment.
In his letter of resignation dated 27th, February 2024 and addressed to the National President, Emenike Nwekeoji, Igwe, in a voice laden with regret and bitterness, cited extraneous influence, backbiting, under current and lack of trust” as the reasons why he called it quit.
“ASECO as presently constituted depicts a divided house due to the extraneous influence and pressure.
” The under current, the backbiting and lack of trust within and without ASECO have caused me to review my membership and chairmanship of the committee.
“I have deeply addressed my thoughts to this, consulted my family, friends and associates and decided that my time with ASECO is irreversibly over.
“There is no energy, no motivation left in me to continue to work under the prevailing regrettable circumstances” Igwe bemoaned.
A few days after the resignation of the highly traumatized ASECO chairman, a coup was played out at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport chapter of the association where one Chief Bola Ashiru Balogun, one of the defeated candidates of the chapter elections staged an unsuccessful coup to unseat the incumbent chairman, Bangbala Adewusi, Monday, March 4th,2024.
In a commando-like style, Chief Bola Balogun came into the Chairman’s office with officers of the Police Force from the Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2, Onikan.
According to an eyewitness account, on the strength of a petition of threat to Life against the Chairman, the Chairman, Chief Adewusi followed them to the Zonal Headquarters
“While the Chairman was away to Zone 2, Chief Bola Balogun allegedly came with hoodlums and area boys to forcefully break into the office of the Chairman and seize power forcefully on the strength of a May 2023 court judgement, which has been appealed and is currently being heard by the Appeal Court”
However, the attempt to unseat Chief Adewusi, who sources said was an unpopular chairman foisted  on the chapter by the cabal in ANLCA, was thwarted by members of the Task Force, led by the CSO, Mr. Maxwell Onyemachi, and other well-meaning members of the chapter loyal to the embattled chairman.
However, the last is yet to be head of the failed coup at the MMIA chapter as a group loyal to Chief Ashiru Balogun has promised to relaunch the attack on the Chairman, Chief Adewusi who they regarded as a puppet of the cabal in the association.
Stakeholders feared that the recent happening in the association may have signaled the slide of ANLCA back to another round of crisis which has ravaged the war-weary group for five years before its graveyard peace that is now shortlived.
The ANLCA President, Emenike Nwekeoji, through the Sectary of the Association, Olumide Fakanlu, “has graciously accepted the resignation letter of the highly embittered ASECO chairman.
In his acceptance letter dated March 1st, 2024 and signed by Fakanlu, the ANLCA President said the letter was received with mixed feelings but nonetheless, it was graciously accepted while wishing Emeka Igwe well in his future endeavours, thus signaling the resumption of hostilities in the acclaimed oldest freight forwarding Association in Nigeria’s maritime industry
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Headlines

Tantita Seizures: Court orders forfeiture of MT Kali to FG

The Eyewitness Reporter 
Private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL), has added another major win for the nation in collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in a landmark judgement, as the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the forfeiture of an illegal crude oil vessel, MT Kali and its content to the Federal Government.
Securing this judgement is the first scenario in recent times when oil thieves and their barons are being prosecuted and brought to book as 20 crew members, including community boys’ accomplices, were arrested in the operation.
The police in the Charge NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024 B/W: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE V. MT KALI & 22 ORS, had arraigned the vessel and its 22 crew members before the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice J.O. Abdulmalik.
Justice Abdulmalik granted the motion for the interim forfeiture of MT Kali & her content to the Federal Government.
However, the arraignment of the suspects was stalled as they were not produced in court by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff.
All efforts by the prosecuting counsel to convince the court to issue a production warrant to be served on the military authorities for the production of the defendants on 18th March 2024 being the next adjournment date or at least the issue of the defendants’ summons to be served on the defendants through the military authorities proved abortive.
The court, however, sternly warned that the charge may not survive beyond the next adjournment date should the prosecution not secure the attendance of the defendants for their arraignment and plea.
The illegal oil bunkering ship was arrested by the operatives of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited in conjunction with the special security task force set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, on January 11th, 2024.
The ship was arrested while siphoning crude oil from the Pennington Oil field of the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Bayelsa State.
The case is being prosecuted to a logical conclusion in the act of dexterity and patriotic zeal by the operatives of Tantita led by its Executive Director, Operations and Technical Services, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh and a team raised by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun.
Egbetokun had directed the Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) under the command of Mr. Lot Lantoh Garba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, to launch a discreet investigation into the arrest of the bunkering ship.
Investigations into the arrest of MT Kali were being intensified as operatives of Tantita arrested another illegal bunkering ship MT HARBOR SPIRIT, weeks after, on February 4th.
The Moldovian vessel was caught while stealing crude oil from Sengana oilfields in the coastal axis of Bayelsa State.
The investigation and prosecution of the two bunkering ships and their crew members were being diligently coordinated by Enisuoh and Head, Investigation, IGP-STPIB, Mr. Omar John Sini, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
It was gathered that MT Harbor Spirit and members of her crew have since been arraigned in court on Friday, March 1st, 2024.
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Customs

Customs gives importers of improperly imported vehicles soft landing

Wale Adeniyi, CGC
— announces 90-day window to pay import duties with 25 percent penalty
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has bent backward to give a soft landing to importers of vehicles whose vehicles were detained by the customs over improper documentation and undervaluation.
Acting on the Ministry of Finance’s instructions, the Customs has given a 90- day window for the vehicles under that category to pay the required customs duty in addition to a 25 percent penalty and take delivery of their consignments.
According to the statement by the service, those whose vehicles were seized and condemned will not enjoy this grace as they have forfeited their consignments to the Federal Government.
“All vehicle owners, Importers/Agents seeking to regularize import duties on their vehicles are required to apply to the Zonal Coordinators (Zones A, B, C, D) and CAC FCT Command.
“They must submit the necessary available documents and process Vreg in line with the Federal Ministry of Finance directives for the registration of imported motor vehicles.
“Valuation and assessment of the vehicles will be carried out using the VIN valuation method.
” Import Duty and a 25% penalty shall be paid in tandem with the import guidelines, procedures, and documentation requirements for used vehicles under the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria (2013) and the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
” Also, duty payments must be made using the Procedure Code specifically created for this exercise.
“This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to facilitating compliance. We encourage all stakeholders to capitalize on this opportunity within the stipulated timeframe” the statement added.
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