The expelled factional National Secretary of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Festus Ukwu has written President Muhammadu Buhari over the activities of Mr. Lucky Amiwero which he said was provoking danger signals at the cargo exit points around the country if unchecked.
Ukwu in a letter he copied to the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, the Inspector-General of Police and the Press recalled that the Minister of Transportation made a brief visit to the Western ports recently and subsequently had interactions with stakeholders and freight forwarders alike at Abuja where he made certain pronouncement that was capable of maintaining peace and tranquility in the nation’s maritime sector but regretted that Mr. Amiwero who had always seen himself as a rival to any government and appointed Ministers had gone to the press inciting uninformed stakeholders and freight forwarders to discountenance the order given by the Minister of Transportation.
He alleged that Amiwero was using every means at his disposal to achieve his aims adding that action was brewing anarchy across the nation’s maritime industry.
According to him,” For the umpteenth time, the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) is dissociating ourselves from this Lucky Amiwero. As law abiding citizens of this country, we are bound to respect our leaders as they are operating under oath according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) is the only regulator for the freight forwarding industry and established by the Act of the National Assembly to regulate freight forwarders and control the freight forwarding associations in the country. Its functions in Section 4 of the Act 16 of 2007 established it is not unambiguous. It is therefore not surprising that the Honourable Minister of Transportation has ordered that all freight forwarders and corporate bodies operating our maritime sector should register with CRFFN or have their freight forwarding licenses revoked. This is in compliance with part 4 of the section 13 of the Act. We believed that that order was meant to sanitize the industry and check the activities of fraudsters and undesirable elements at our seaports, airports and border stations. How the Minister’s good intention has offended Lucky Amiwero beats everybody’s imagination.
“Lucky was removed from the position of the interim President of the National Council in 2009 after 13 years as President and Prince Obi Eze replaced him. Obi Eze in turn resigned from the position in 2010 to pursue his political career in his home Enugu State and the present interim National President of the Council now is HRH, Chief Festus Osaji Ejiofor. Lucky is always using the above platform to pursue his personal interest especially when he is seeking for relevance in government circle.
“Lucky thrives on illegalities and that informs why he is not registered CRFFN, does not operate a customs license and is always fighting legitimate authorities. The Minister should be made to cause an action that will check and make Lucky obey the laws of the land. The CRFFN should on its own evoke the disciplinary powers conferred on it by the Act to bring Lucky to book because he is not above the law and the maritime industry is not a banana republic where anyone can operate with impunity.
“We are in full support of the Minister’s directive and therefore advice all freight forwarders and clearing agents alike to discountenance Lucky’ directive and go ahead and register with CRFFN as provided by law.
Meanwhile, the factional President of the NCMDLCA, Chief Festus Osaji Ejiofor has dissociated himself from the letter written to President Buhari by Mr. Festus Ukwu over activities of Mr. Lucky Amiwero.
Speaking with our correspondent in a telephone interview Saturday, Chief Ejiofor disclosed that the said Ukwu brought a copy of the letter to his office for him to endorse which he refused to endorse based on the fact that he had been expelled from NCMDLCA as both member and Secretary thus lacking the authority to write anything on behalf of the council.
It will be recalled that NCMDLCA had in a letter dated 28th January, 2016 conveyed its expulsion notice to Mr. Festus Ukwu requiring him to hand over to the administrative Secretary at the National Council’s Headquarters the identity card issued to him by the President, Chief Festus Ejiofor and stop parading himself as the Secretary of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents to avoid legal action against him.
The letter of expulsion read partly,” In recently held meeting of the National Executive Council and meeting of NCMDLCA on the 28th of January, 2016, a resolution was taken to the effect that you Mr. Festus Ukwu be expelled from the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents as a result of the following reasons;
“That you Mr. Festus Ukwu used the office of the National Council at its headquarters as a facility to form another personal association thereby involving yourself in anti-association activities. Based on your known records of notorious doubtful character, majority of our teeming members have threatened to resign their membership hinging their reasons on the fact that they cannot be in the same association with you. You are discovered to be in conspiracy with those trouble makers that feed fat in crisis who are tempting to form a parallel association of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, which action is intended to destroy the very National Council accredited by CRFFN and known to government.
“Consequent upon the foregone facts, you are directed to surrender to the Admin Secretary at National Council HQ, the identity card issued to you by the President, Chief Festus Ejiofor and stop forthwith from parading yourself as the Secretary of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents to avoid legal redress”.
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