AREFFN Crisis: BOT replies Jukwe, calls for his resignation


The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) has called for the resignation of the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sir Mike Jukwe for daring to recognize Dr. Frank Ukor as the President of the association after his substantive tenure had expired on the 11th August, 2017.

The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Ejike Metu who said this while reacting to the letter written by Jukwe to the effect that the Council does not recognize the appointment of an interim executive made by the members of BoT for the association but that of Dr. Frank Ukor said that the Registrar had not acted in good faith in taking that position.

Metu wondered why Jukwe who said that the constitution of AREFFN and the Act setting up CRFFN did not give room for appointment into positions of leadership in the freight forwarding associations his Council regulates would turn around to approve the purported extension of tenure of Dr. Ukor whose tenure expired since 11th of August, 2017 months after an interim executive led by Alhaji Bala Lawan Daura had been appointed and inaugurated at a well-attended Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association.

According to Metu,” I must tell you that I weep CRFFN, my heart bleeds for CRFFN. What a tragedy! So, the Registrar of this all important regulatory agency in the maritime industry cannot interpret the unambiguous words of the Act setting up CRFFN which he quoted copiously in his jaundiced support of and for the fraudulent expired Ukor presidency. Mr. Jukwe’s sanctimonious preaching of democracy leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It is confounding that a rational being, a Registrar of such an august body can probate and reprobate at the same time. It poses more questions to his understating of democracy and democratic principles and ethos as enunciated by him.

“According to Mr. Jukwe, the constitution of AREFFN and the Act setting up the Council does not have room for appointment in whatever form, please Mr. Jukwe, the constitution and Act you quoted, where did they allow or make room for extension of expired mandate? Or where did it authorize you to undemocratically give a certificate of extension on the 11th day of January, 2018 to a regime whose tenure expired on the 11th day of August, 2017, clear five months after the Board of Trustees has done the needful under the doctrine of necessity and the fact that the BoT acted under the powers confined on it by CAMA? Did you Mr. Jukwe take note that the purported NEC of Ukor on the 7th day of November, 2017 came 14 days that the appointment of Bala and his interim executive were inaugurated in an AGM?

“Pertinent questions we are asking Jukwe are; are you supposed to enter the arena in the internal affairs of an association? I wouldn’t know how he would answer this question but the issue remains that since he has decided to enter the arena, whatever comes to him, he should take. As a regulator, he is supposed to be an unbiased empire. But Jukwe has decided to be a judge and in judgment, fair hearing is always utmost. I wouldn’t know what was told him, I wouldn’t know how the NEC of 7th of November, the locus Dr. Frank Ukor has or had to call that NEC, who and who were in the NEC? We as the members of the Board are still waiting to see any write up where persons or people will say that they signed that extension because people go voicing that they are members of the Board of Trustees of AREFFN where as we only have three members.

“The question is, between the 11th of August and the 7th of November when the purported NEC held, what was happening in AREFFN? We had a Board meeting and the Secretary of the Board wrote Jukwe intimating him of our activities, notifying him of the expiration of Ukor’s tenure and remember Ukor was not the only one in the executive, he was the president and he had a Vice and others. The question you will ask yourself, the purported NEC, how many members of the old executive were in attendance? How many members of the Board of Trustees attended that NEC?

“Because you invited members of CRFFN to witness a fraudulent NEC, are they not supposed to ask question? You are extending your tenure after five months it has expired and you, Frank Ukor are the one writing the public, informing them that your tenure has been extended, then that means that you are the authority, in fact AREFFN is your personal property for you to take decision as and when it pleases your interest”.

He however advised Jukwe to call himself to order as the purported NEC of 7th November was null and void to the extent that Frank Ukor did not have the locus as at that day to call a NEC meeting when they already have an inaugurated interim president.

“I have read, I have not seen the letter approving the extension because Frank Ukor was going all over the places that he has a letter from CRFFN, for him that means power of authority but the question is, does it fall within the purview of the Registrar’s office to give a certificate of return for extension when you have said that the constitution of AREFFN and the CRFFN’s Act does not have any place for appointment.?

“And now, we want to say to Jukwe, in the year 2018, democracy in Nigeria has come to stay, this is not Zimbabwe and Jukwe should not make himself a Mugabe. We are saying that if the office of the Registrar is too big for him and that he doesn’t have the capacity anymore to meet to the demands of that office, the most reasonable thing for him to do is to resign. He had better put in a letter of his resignation because it is obvious that a Registrar who cannot interpret the constitution of the bodies he is supposed to regulate cannot even interpret the unambiguous language of the Act setting it up.

“The Board is saying to Jukwe, we have a lot of respect for you, maybe you did this in error, call yourself to order, retrace your step because the world is watching you, the world is reading you, they are reading us. It is ridiculous that you quoted copiously sections of the Act. My message is, if he feels that the heat in that office is too much for him, let him put his letter of resignation because CRFFN cannot be so lowered to the extent that the Chief Executive Officer does not even interpret the laws governing his council. It leaves so much sour taste in the mouth in the year 2018”, he said.

Photo: Chairman of AREFFN BoT, Mr. Ejike Metu.

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