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Joe Sanni feeding fat on ANLCA crisis —-Prince Ozo Chukurah

Prince Ozo Chukwrah is one the most visible freight forwarders in the country and the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA).

He was at the forefront of the various peace efforts to resolve the protracted crisis which has bedeviled the association for almost five years now.

In this exclusive interview with our reporter, the ANLCA chieftain highlighted the latest peace moves by the BOT to end the lingering crisis and restore peace to the battle-weary association.

He however accused Joe Sanni, the former Senior Special Assistant(SSA) on Media and Publicity to Prince Olayiwola Shittu, the immediate past president of ANLCA, as the killjoy to all the various peace efforts in the association, accusing him of making merchandise of the crisis as he was continuously fanning the embers of discord through his inflammatory statements which he alleged were bare-faced lies to profit from the unfortunate situation.

  What is your reaction to reopening the ANLCA secretariat after it was shut for about two months following the unfortunate incident at Tin Can port where one person was killed?

That narration was totally wrong. The secretariat had been long closed before the incident t your referred to. The Police shut the secretariat over the petition they received that some people wanted to burn the place from the Western zone group. All efforts to dissuade the police from shutting down the place fell through. The police insisted that they will close it for security reasons. That was the reason the secretariat was shut.

Both warring groups went to the Lagos state commissioner of police. I led our team while Taiwo Mustapha led his team. There, the Commissioner of police expressed frustration at the seeming perpetuity of the crisis, saying he was tried. I made my own submission, saying that we too are tired because the matter is so simple. It was a matter between the two boards. The New board and the past board. The new board came and inherited the problems.

The NECOM was initially not part of the problem, but at a stage, they got the NECOM involved because they accused the NECOM of taking sides.

As I have earlier explained in my past interview, there were court cases that barred Tony Iju-led NECOM not to recognize the other party.

It was a court declaration and nobody contested or appealed against that judgment.

 Now that the Secretariat has been opened and handed to Tony Iju-led NECOM, what is your reaction? What is the way forward? Where does the association go from there?

Before I answer that question, let me conclude the analysis of our peace efforts before now.

The two groups went to the Commissioner of police where I told him that he has a legal department, and let the other party submit what they have as evidence of being in charge of the secretariat because they were then claiming they have taken over the secretariat when they appointed Pius Ejubomon as interim President while we still have Tony Iju as our President who is in charge.

I asked the police to investigate to find out which of the two contending boards is in charge, is it the one led by Taiwo Afolabi or the one led by Taiwo Mustapha?

That was where we left it with the police.

The Mustaha-led board was genuinely registered but no longer active as of August 26th, 2022 while the new board led by Dr. Afolabi came in on September 7th, 2022. These dates are very sacrosanct and germane to the issue on the ground. they are verifiable.

The Mustapha-led board ceases to be active in the status of the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) as at August 26th, 2022. While the new board led by Afolabi came in and issued a certificate on September 7th, 2022. with the names of the nine members of the board printed on the certificate.

This is what we asked the Police to investigate to determine which of the two boards is fake and genuine.

So the police took all legal steps to investigate and found out that the authentic board genuinely registered by the CAC is the one led by Dr. Taiwo Afolabi which is supporting the Tony Iju-led NECOM.

That is why they reopened the secretariat and handed it over to Tony Iju-led NECOM as a confirmation of the authenticity and genuineness of Afolabi-led BOT.

This action by the police has finally vindicated us and settled the issue of the legitimacy of our board.

To be sincere with you, everyone, including Mustapha, knows the truth, probably with the exception of one man, Joe Sanni.

 But why are still contesting the ownership of the secretariat with the authentic board?

All this while, Joe Sanni was the lawyer, the judge and the complainant. He has been the one who determines what to say, dishing out falsehood to the public.

I am sure he is feeding fat on this crisis, he is not losing anything. He is massively reaping from it otherwise who among these people is the enemy of Prince Ozo?

Sir Ernest Elochucku, whom I regard as the most intelligent freight forwarder in Nigeria, is my boss and friend. Dennis Okafor is the closest friend to my brother, Chief Mike Nwoko and a close friend to me.

Taye Oyeniyi is another close friend who once made me relinquish my hard-won victory in Tin Can which I later reclaimed with the support of others, including Dayo Aziz who supported me to become the first Igbo ANLCA chapter chairman in Tin Can.

They all also rallied around me when I contested for Zonal coordinator which I eventually won unopposed.


”We should all be concerned, especially those who are close to this man, about his state of sanity.

Is Joe Sanni normal and of sound mind?”

So who among these people is my enemy: none, not even Mustapha whom I have severally met in private to seek peace in ANLCA.

This is a new year, I plead and sue for peace, even if it means going down on my knees. I will do everything possible for us to achieve peace.

We should embrace peace and shun bitterness because time is fast running out.

I will make a proposal to our board and NECOM so that we can convene an AGM/NEC meeting where the suspension of some members could be reversed and they would be reabsorbed into the association for peace to reign.

Most of us in the elective positions in the association are on the final lap of our tenure. We need youths to come up and take over.

 Beyond rhetorics sir, what are the concrete steps the Dr. Afolabiled BOT is making to ensure a lasting peace and to placate the aggrieved party?

Only four people from the Mustapha group are qualified to recontest their positions and they are Dayo Aziz, Ernest Elochukwu, Taiwo Mustapha and Dennis Okafor who can join the nine members of the Taiwo Afolabi-led board. We need to amend the constitution to accommodate them. This should not be a problem because laws are made for man and not man for the law.

This is part of the peace efforts the board is willing to make to ensure that this crisis is resolved and lasting peace is restored back to the ANLCA.

Even these people I mentioned, some of them don’t have time for the association again because they are heavyweight. They don’t even have enough time for their numerous business interests. So we need to start to groom some capable youths to take over the leadership of the association.

The second aspect is we should allow all the actions and inactions of Tony Iju to pawn out. Every chapter where he conducted elections should be allowed to serve out its tenure.

Also, if we come together, the board will allow them to be part of the ASECO that will conduct the next elections.

They are too big to be ASECO members but they can send in their representatives to the association’s electoral body.

We run an inclusive government not by appointment but elections.

I was elected as a member of the BOT for six years and I have served out two years, the remaining four years. I am not willing to resign but intend to serve out my tenure.

I have supported all the past members who have served on the board, I never called for their sack or resignation before they served out their tenure, including Taye Oyeniyi, until this crisis started.

Therefore, I am begging everyone concerned to allow peace to reign in the association.

I am calling on all of them to an enlarged meeting where we all jaw-jaw and not war-war so that we can bring the association back to the path of peace.

No victor, no vanquished. We are all winners in this matter.

 What happens if the much sought-after peace is not achieved and you know that by April this year when the tenure of the incumbent NECOM expires and we know that constitutionally, the BOT will kick start the process of a new election, What happens if the other group does not back down?

Constitutionally, the BOT takes over the running of the NECOM for 90 days in case of a crisis. Has it not dawned on you now which is the authentic BOT?

Anyway, don’t let us count our chickens before they are hatched. We shall get to the bridge first before we attempt to cross it.

 What is going to happen to all the pending court cases? They are numerous and distractive.

I think all the court cases have been disposed off and all their judgments are in the favour of the parent NECOM and the Board. However, only one court case is pending and judgment will come in February. Even at that, the event has overtaken the court case because the man that was praying the court to be allowed to serve out his tenure of office has already served out his tenure. That was Aziz in the Seme chapter.

However, the court will still make its pronouncement despite this fact.

The one in Kano too has been decided.

We have had enough of delays and waste of time. It is time to come together and chart a new course for ANLCA. The crisis has led to lots of pain and loss of time and resources. So I bed all concerned to sheath their swords.

Another criminal case pending was the one where Tony Iju and his group were attacked. We shall look into that and prevail on the complainants to withdraw it if only the other group agrees to embrace peace.

What efforts is the current BOT making to forestall a reoccurrence of this crisis that has nearly torn ANLCA apart?

A. As far as I know, a crisis is part of human life. It is bound to happen where are two or more people, not to talk of a group like ANLCA. Crisis happens in families, countries, religious groups and professional or trade groups like ANLCA and political groups.

What is important is the ability to manage a crisis and navigate through the crisis. That does not mean there will be no crisis.

There are people who were created to foment trouble and create crises while some were born as peacemakers. Both groups will cohabit and coexists.

I wish to appeal to all well-meaning members of this association to prevail on Joe Sanni to stop his current efforts to further destabilize ANLCA despite all efforts to resolve the issues.

He has been fanning the ember of discord and disunity in the association through his inflammatory statement, and the spread of falsehoods, half-truths and outright lies.

He has been peddling lies the certificate of   Dr. Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT is fake. Yet he has not been able to take us to the police for forgery which is a criminal case.

He knew that the certificate is fake, why has he not written to the man whose signature was forged on the certificate to take legal action, yet he chooses to spread uncoordinated and incoherent narratives that do not add up to the discerning minds?

In another breath, he was telling the whole world the so-called fake certificate has been canceled and withdrawn by the CAC.

Is that not illogical and laughable? How can the CAC cancel a document that is supposed to be fake which they did not issue?

All these incoherent and illogical narratives of Joe Sanni are a sad reflection of his state of mind.

I enjoined the industry stakeholders to be circumspect and take time to analyse the logic behind some of these mendacious narratives this character is dishing out to the public on this matter.

A fake document cannot be canceled because it is already fake. And the man who is well versed in deciphering fake objects is supposed to write to the police without much ado for investigation.

I think by now we should all have been arrested because forgery is a criminal case.

But instead, the man chooses to spew out falsehood to the public.

We should all be concerned, especially those who are close to this man, about his state of sanity.

Is Joe Sanni normal and of sound mind?

I am as concerned as other true friends of this character called Sanni because he is doing more harm to the peace and progress of ANLCA through his illogical and incorrect utterances.

I appeal to those who are sponsoring him, those paying him for this hatchet job he is doing to desist from paying him if they truly love ANLCA.

He cannot contribute one Kobo in ANLCA, so he enjoying the crisis because he is feeding fat on it.

I am appealing to him to sheath his sword. This is not a personal war.

Enough is enough.

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Tin Can Customs nets N574.3 billion in 2022 —–records N242.365 billion in exports

The Eyewitness reporter
The  Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has realized a sum of N574.3 billion in 2022.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede, disclosed this at a news conference at weekend.

Oloyede said the figure represented an increase of N80.90 billion or 16.39 percent when compared with N493.4 billion recorded in 2021.

“This feat can be attributed to the constant rejigging of the existing measures geared toward sustaining the command’s revenue profile.

“It is as well as utilisation of some disruptive strategic measures such as: periodic capacity building, reshuffling and redeployment of officers using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation,” he said.

He noted that the command also ensured robust and continuous stakeholder engagements and collaborations with all sister government agencies and maritime associations.

“These led to timely intelligence sharing, utilisation and voluntary compliance to government’s extant laws by the trading public,” Oloyede said.

He added that the command increased surveillance on declarations made in order to sniff out improper declarations as well as offending items.

He pointed out that the system paid off with the command recording a total of 38 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.85 billion.

“These seizures comprise 763kgs of Colorado (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 345.1kg with a street market value of N714.6 million only as given by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), 5 x 40 containers of used motor tyre (5,060 pieces).

“Also among seized items are 1,150 bales of second-hand clothing, 1,190 cartons of 20 per carton of potassium bromate and baking powder, 11,392 cartons of 1,200 per carton Pharmacol injection chloroquine phosphate 322.5mg.5ml (IV and IM), 206,000 pieces of finished machetes.

“Also, 1,383 cartons of 50 rolls per carton of cigarettes, 650 cartons of 50 pieces per carton of new ladies shoes, 2,666 pieces in 36 pallets of new starter Ex-Premium Inverter Battery, 1,980 cartons of assorted non-alcoholic beverages and 1,048 cartons of Tilda basmati rice,” he said.

Oloyede listed others as 2,594 pieces of ammunition and 20 pieces of arms comprising of one pistol with 611090 (S/W) model JCP 40mm, one used Co2 air pistol with accessories cal 117(4.5m)BM, one marksman repeater pistol, six Mace pepper gun and 10 suspected arms of various types.

He said that the seizures when compared with the 2021 record of 27 seizures with a Debit Note of N607.27 only, show an increase of 11 seizures and N1.24 billion.

He said that the increase in the DPV rate could be associated with increased surveillance and intensified anti-smuggling drive, the high value of seized items and Naira depreciation that led to higher exchange rates on imported items.

“These prohibited items were seized and forfeited to the Federal Government in line with the provision of Sections 46 and 161 of the Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45 LFN 2004 and Absolute Prohibition List of CET 2022- 2026.

“The command pertinently acknowledges the prominent roles played by the Customs Intelligence Unit, Valuation Unit, Federal Operations Unit, CGC Strike Force as well as interventions of Sister Regulatory Agencies like the NDLEA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, the Nigeria Police and others in ensuring these seizures and detentions were made.

“A total of 60 suspects were detained in 2022 and were granted administrative bail while the command has 8 cases pending in court,” he said.

Oloyede said the command recorded a significant increase in the Free On Board (FOB) of exports in the period under review to the tune of $589,696,648 (N242,365,322,333.00) as against the $496,075,796 (N141,985,109,159.00) recorded in 2021.

He attributed the increase of 34.4 percent in the FOB to the high quality and value of exported commodities.

“However, the export report shows a decrease in tonnage of export from 1,723,986.8 in 2021 to 336,179.5 in 2022.

“The decrease in tonnage could be connected to current government fiscal policy which prohibited the export of wood and wood products as well as the global unrest with its concomitant economic challenges,” he said

He listed the commodities exported through the command to include: cocoa beans, insecticides, dried ginger, empty bottles, soya beans, cashew nuts, cigarettes, rubbers, cocoa butter, frozen shrimps, copper ingots, aluminum ingots, sesame seeds and other manufactured items.

“Cocoa beans were the highest exported commodity while the legend stout was the least exported commodity.

“The future of export in the command looks brighter as the command in line with the headquarter circular on Export Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) released a Port Order on the Command’s harmonised SOP for the seamless facilitation of Export Trade in strict compliance with Extant Laws and guidelines on Export,” he said.

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CBN succumbs  to pressure, extends use of old naira notes to February 10

The Eyewitness reporter
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally caved in to Public outcry over the February 1st deadline for the use of old naira notes when on Sunday, the apex bank announced February 10 as the new date.
Announcing the new deadline in a statement, Governor Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said the decision to add extra 10 days was “to allow for the collection of more old notes”

Up till Saturday, CBN had insisted on the 31st January deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 despite overwhelming complaints that the notes are either not available or in short supply in the banks or their Automated Teller Machines.

Last October, Emefiele announced the Naira redesign policy which entails the issuance of new notes to replace the existing N200, N500 and N1,000 series.

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”No container will leave Apapa Port without 100 percent physical examination”


declares Auwal Mohammed as he takes over as new Apapa Customs Area controller

—promises to surpass N1 trillion revenue mark

—vows not to facilitate non-compliant traders


The Eyewitness reporter

Despite the deployment of cargo scanning machines, the new area comptroller of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, has vowed that no container shall leave the Apapa port without a 100 percent physical examination.

Comptroller Mohammed, who formally took over the mantle of leadership of the command Friday, 27th, January 2023, from Ag. Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs(ACG) Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, said that the decision to subject all cargo to physical examination was meant to account for every content of container passing through the command and to maximize revenue returns to the Federal Government.

He, therefore, warned non-compliant traders to steer clear of the command as he would not facilitate their trade as he desired to surpass the one trillion revenue mark achieved by the command under the former area controller Yusuf.

”We shall continue to conduct 100 percent physical examination of cargo so that we can account for all the cargo in the containers and to generate more revenue so that we can surpass the one trillion revenue collection that the command has already achieved. No package, no container should leave Apapa port without a proper 100 percent physical examination.” the new Comptroller told his officers who had gathered to welcome him.

He continued ”Today marks another era in the history of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service. I am inheriting a well-structured area command. The level of achievements and status achieved under my predecessor will be sustained while I will look for all means to surpass them.

I am ready for the job. I am aware of the big shoe I am stepping into but I am well prepared for it”, Comptroller Mohammad said.

He, therefore, asked the officers to be at their utmost best to cooperate and work with him to sustain and surpass the legacies of his predecessor.

He also solicited the support and cooperation of stakeholders whom he promised to engage with and updated frequently on all issues and policies that will enhance their trade and performance of the command.

The new helmsman also charged all the releasing officers and the image analysts who will be conducting the scanning of cargo to be diligent and exhibit the utmost sense of responsibility and professionalism in their duty so as not to release uncustomed goods.

Mohammed, who was redeployed from Onne Port Area Command when he was the area controller, also enjoined the importers and their agents to be compliant with the cargo clearance procedural processes in order to enjoy a seamless cargo release.

”The goods clearance procedure is simple. Everything starts and ends with declaration and if there is a proper and correct declaration of cargo, there won’t be any need for delay and unnecessary interference with the process”, he admonished.

Earlier, the outgoing Area Controller, Ag. Yusuf, while handling over the operations and procedures of the command to his successor, solicited the support and cooperation of all the officers and other stakeholders for the new helmsman, urging them to avail the new comptroller of the same level of support, guidance, and cooperation and advice they gave him.

He also lauded the untiring efforts of his officers whom he said were instrumental in the monumental achievements recorded by the command under his watch.

Consequently, some officers who excelled in the discharge of their duties were commended and awarded certificates of merit, including the indefatigable Public Relations officer of the Command, CSC Abubakar Usman.



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