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Freight Monitor

ANLCA crisis latest:  Mustapha, Elochukwu, Okafor, Azeez are not BOT members- CAC declares.

Chief Henry Njoku, recognised as ANLCA BOT member
The Eyewitness reporter
 The yet-to-settle crisis in the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) has taken a new twist as the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) has disowned the purported registered Board of Trustees(BOT) of Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha-led faction.
The ANLCA has been engulfed in a protracted crisis for the past five years as two factions in the association were laying claims to the authentic BOT of the association.
The Mustapha-led group has claimed legitimacy on the ANLCA board, a claim disputed by another faction led by Prince Ozo Chukwurah, both of which claimed they were registered by the CAC.
However, in the course of the protracted crisis and attempts to find lasting peace in the association, both factions have approached the Lagos state Police Command for mediation and mandated the police to investigate and find from the CAC an authentic registered BOT between the two warring parties.
However, the Police have obtained the true position of the CAC on the authentic ANLCA BOT.
In the report obtained by the police and a copy of which was sighted by our reporter, the CAC declared that Taiwo Mustapha, Ernest Elochukwu, Dennis  Okafor, Azeez are not BOT members.
According to the 36 pages report dated March 13th, 2023 from the CAC with reference, No RGO/SU/VOL.1/2023/0289 and addressed to the  Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba,  Lagos, the authentic BOT recognised by the CAC was the one registered by Chief Henry Njoku.
The CAC claimed that it actually issued the two certificates being brandished by the two factional BOTs but were subsequently cancelled on the ground of various lawsuits filed by the contending parties to the board.
The report titled ” RE: CONFIRMATION OF CERTIFICATES OF INCORPORATION AND STATUS REPORT”  reads in part ” We refer to your letter with reference number AB 3383/LSX/DO/VOL.3/57 for confirmation of Certificates and status report in respect of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents.
” Kindly be informed both Certificates dated 16th January 2020 and 7th September 2022 were issued by the Commission. However, they were subsequently canceled on the grounds that the appointment of Trustees was subjudiced .
” The Certificate issued on 16th January 2020 was canceled on 3rd March 2020 on the findings that the advertisement for change of trustees was made during the subsistence of a pending suit making the filing for changes unlawful and of no effect.
” Also, on the 27th of September 2022, the Certificate dated 7th September 2022, was canceled and the status quo reverted in view of suits FHC/L/CS/599/2020 and FHC/CS/79/2021 which were still pending at the time of the changes.
” Consequent to the above, the status quo on the Trustees has been reversed to changes filed in 2014 and contained in the Certificate issued on the 13th of January 2020. You may further wish to note that the 2014 application was initially not concluded on procedural queries requiring the return of the original Certificate of the association and submission of identification of trustees.
” Find attached the status extract, certified true copies of the Certificate of Incorporation, extract of minutes and documents in respect of the changes filed with the Commission in 2014 reflecting the current status of the association on the Commission’s record”
The letter was signed by Maimunat Hamu Modi on behalf of the Registrar General of CAC and was copied ANLCA and Finestone Chambers.
On the real and active members of the ANLCA BOT members with current status with CAC  , the first on the list is Chief Sir Henry Njoku, followed by ( late)  Alhaji Aare Sanni Shittu, Chief Sunday  Odedeyi,  Chief Peter Oge Obi, Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, Okenze  Sylvester Obinna, Chief Lawrence Asuquo, Dr. Sir Enoch Iwueze and Alhaji Aliyu Isa.
Also, the document shows past registered members of the ANLCA board who were removed to include Otunba Oyewole Fashewe, Ofoegbu U. Ofoegbu, Dr A.B.Mamman, Sam Bamisaye , Innocent Okoye, Ezeani Mbadugha and James Idornigie. They were removed and replaced by Chief Henry Njoku BOT, according to the CAC report.
However, there was nowhere in the 36-page report that Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha, Chief Dennis Okafor and Alhaji Dayo Azeez were either listed or mentioned as BOT members of ANLCA, nor did their pictures appear anywhere in the document.
Reacting to the CAC Report and the latest media reports credited to Chief Ernest Elochukwu and Co, the Acting National President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto ” I am pained to see Elder statesmen behaving the way some of our so-called leaders are doing.
”First and foremost, let me state clearly that NECOM  believes in the leadership of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
”Hence, we allowed many of the things done under the peace agreement even when we knew they were not in line with our constitution,  but for the entire Association, we did give and take.
” Sir Elochukwu met the Nigeria Police to write to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the true status of the Association’s BOT  and a copy of the reply has been sent to us and he and Alhaji  Mustapha are not even amongst the members of our board recognized under the law.
” I  have decided to release the report to the public for all stakeholders to know the aggressors and that we have been magnanimous to have accepted the issues the way it has been midwife by the Chairman of the Governing board of the CRFFN through the use of the political solution.
”  Secondly, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha does not have any power to counter the decision of the National Executive Council ( NEC) to extend the NECOM election by 90 days for the Association Electoral Commission ( ASECO)  to be able to conduct the NECOM Election.
”He needs to know that the day-to-day running of the association lies on the  NECOM and not the board, it is expressly stated in our constitution.
”  Finally, I urge the ASECO to go ahead with the preparation for the conduct of the NECOM election. I also state unequivocally that we have our belief in the capabilities of Alhaji Abubakar Sanni- led Governing Council of CRFFN  in piloting the affairs of freight forwarders in line with the  CRFFN Act as enshrined.” Farinto said.
”Meanwhile, with the latest development, it is certain that if the gladiators will not agree with the political solution as mediated by the CRFFN, the recognized BOT can as well resume office to restore lasting peace and if anyone continues on the warpath, then the law should take its full weight on culprits” Farinto declared.
Ironically, Alhaji Tsanni Abubakar-led CRFFN has brokered the much elusive peace in the ANLCA which was generally accepted by the two factions of the BOT.
The peace accord was further consolidated with the merger of the two BOTs, consisting of equal numbers of members from the two contending factional BOTs with Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha as its Chairman.
Prince Taiye Oyeniyi graciously stepped down as a member of the factional BOT and was unanimously adopted as the patron of the unified BOT.
While the whole members were savouring the new found-peace, Chief Ernest Elochukwu, a former National President of ANLCA and a member of the factional BOT which has now been disowned by the CAC, decided to truncate the peace process when he announced at a kangaroo press conference Monday that the Taiwo Mustapha-led BOT has pulled out of the peace pact, a claim which Prince Taiyo Oyeniyi claimed ignorance of.
Speaking with our reporter Tuesday, Prince Oyeniyi, who is a strong member of the discredited factional BOT to which Elochukwu belongs but who wholeheartedly embraced the peace process, said he was neither aware of the press conference convened by Elochukwu nor was consulted.
He said he has gone out of Lagos but promised to find out the grievances of the motley members of the Elochukwu disgruntled gang.
Alhaji Mustapha told our reporter that he was out of the country at the time the purported press conference was convened.
The CAC report has however pulled the rug off the feet of Chief Ernest Elochukwu and his gang in their latest efforts to truncate the hard-won peace in ANLCA.


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Freight Monitor

Customs offers hands of fellowship to new ANLCA leadership , as Adeniyi congratulates Nwokeoji on his election

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed the willingness of the Service to collaborate with the new leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) under the leadership of Emenike Nwokeoji, in a bid to advance the customs brokerage sector and promote the interests of customs agents throughout Nigeria.
In his congratulatory message to the new ANLCA president, Adeniyi said his election was a reflection of the confidence the members of the association have in him.
While lauding the noble role that members of the Customs Consultative Council played in brokering peace in the war-torn association which eventually led to the conduct of a peaceful election, the customs boss said he was eagerly waiting for a productive partnership with the association.
Adeniyi however expressed confidence that Mr. Nwokeoji will provide solid and visionary leadership to ANLCA while working closely with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance the collaboration between the two organizations.
“On behalf of the officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi congratulates Mr Emenike Nwokeoji on his election as the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA)”
After five years of bickering and bitter rivalry that polarised the oldest freight forwarding group in Nigeria into factions, including several botched attempts to broker a truce, the much elusive peace eventually located the troubled association on September 7th, 2023, when an election, which outcome was accepted by all the factions, was held and Nwokeoji emerged as the president of the unified ANLCA.
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Freight Monitor

Freight Forwarders threaten to shut down ports over alarming rate of extortions by maritime police.

Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun
The Eyewitness Reporter
The freight forwarders plying their trade at the Lagos ports are currently in a restive mood over what they claimed was the barefaced extortions, harassment, and intimidation by the maritime police.
The aggrieved customs brokers, in their petition to the new Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, have therefore threatened to withdraw their services if the excesses of these police officers are not checked.
In a four-page protest letter signed by Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of the 100 percent Compliance team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF),  addressed to the IGP and dated August 22, 2023, the irate customs brokers said the activities of these police officers have considerably impeded facilitation of trade.
In the petition, Tanko Ibrahim, who is also an elected member of the governing board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN), claimed these officers, in connivance with the shipping companies, indiscriminately stop and detain exited containers from the ports with the purpose of extorting money from the owners.
Tanko, who said these extortionist activities of the police were curtailed under the past administration of police IG due to the outcry of the oppressed freight forwarders, lamented that the menace has now resurgent with new vigour, as the police now carry out their extortions in the open.
“Since the advent of the new administration, the officers and men of the Maritime Police have not only resumed these activities but also even more daring.
“They do not only block the release of containers from shipping companies, but they also arrest and detain containers on the roads, and even allegedly go into fisticuffs with the officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service”
The petitioners however fingered one of the officers whom they said was daring and boastful of his nefarious activities.
“To compound and confound the matter, one of their officers, named Superintendent Kenneth  Uwakool, who has been at Kam Salem House for more than three years, when the rapprochement was reached during the last administration, is the unrepentant bagman, who openly boasts that he is a millionaire.
“He sits atop proceedings in the extortion business’ the petitioners declared.
In the petition, each copy of which was sent to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members of the National Assembly, and all the security agencies, Tanko Ibrahim, who ventilated the foul mood of the angry freight forwarders, claimed that the marauding police officers collect as high as N2m to N3m from their victims on each container before they let them go.
The petitioners wondered where were these officers when the Customs, in collaboration with other sister agencies, arrest containers with drugs, arms, and ammunition, accusing them of looking the other way while these illicit goods are being ferried away understand their noses.
He however appealed for prompt intervention of the new IGP in order to calm the frayed nerves of the harassed freight forwarders to starve off an impending showdown with the extortionist police officers.
“We, therefore, respectfully urge you, sir, to call the Maritime Police to order and save the ports from an imminent restiveness that may paralyze business activities and further cause economic loss to government revenue.
“We may have no option than to go on protest which may result in a possible shutdown of the seaports” the aggrieved freight forwarders threatened.
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Freight Monitor

Abuja peace accord: Customs Consultative Council to supervise ANLCA elections in August.

— As ASECO, BOT members without valid operating customs licenses to be removed
The eyewitness Reporter
In yet another effort to realign the recalcitrant two factions of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) that have held the association hostage in a protracted ego war, the Customs Consultative Council(CCC) has brokered what seemed like a truce between the two warring parties.
The one brokered by the CRFFN some months ago has collapsed.
At a peace meeting convened by the CCC in Abuja, Wednesday 19th July 2023, members of the peace council, made up of Customs representatives, retired Customs officers,and past National Presidents of ANLCA, the council made far-reaching decisions that it hoped would restore lasting peace to the troubled association.
Part of the resolutions made includes the vacation of office by Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of ANLCA and other NECOM members within the next two weeks of the meeting while the BOT takes over the running of the association till the election holds before the end of August.
The meeting also adopted the 2013 Constitution of ANLCA while jettisoning the other two controversial constitutions of the two warring parties.
The adopted constitution was the one midwifed by the former ANLCA president, Prince Olayiwola Shittu.
It was also agreed that members of ASECO and BOT whose practicing licenses are suspect or could not be verified by the Nigeria Customs Service would be dropped from their positions.
The BOT and ASECO are to conduct and supervise the election not later than the end of August while the CCC will be an observer.
 The structure fashioned out by the CRFFN during its own peace accord meeting would be adopted which created a unified BOT that comprises equal numbers of both warring factions but with the caveat that the BOT election be held immediately after the NECOM election.
The peace council advised that character/ Integrity and Capacity should be the criteria for choosing leaders for the elective positions in ANLCA.
The council also warned aspirants to conduct themselves with a high sense of integrity and maturity and educate their followers and supporters.
It also mandated that the BOT chairman and the vice chairman to issue a joint press release to enlighten members on the accord reached.
 The CCC offered to host a post-Election Dinner in Lagos.

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