The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) has approved the appointment of a new interim National Secretary for the association.
He is Chief Francis Obiekezie who before his new appointment was the Chief of Staff to the National President of the association.
In a letter addressed to Chief Obiekezie and signed by the Chairman, BoT, Mr. Ejike Metu and the Secretary, Mr. Innocent Elum and made available to our correspondent in Lagos yesterday, the Board said that he was to hold the office pending the election of a substantive National Secretary.
The letter reads, “The Board has considered and approved your appointment as interim National Secretary. You are to hold office pending the when there is election of a substantive National Secretary.
“The appointment is with immediate effect, please”
It will be recalled that the former National Secretary, Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara had in a letter dated 11th May, 2020 and addressed to the Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of the association, Mr. Ejike Metu and copied to the National President of the association, Alhaji Bala Lawan Daura and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) announced his resignation as the National Secretary as well as withdrawal of his membership of the association.
Opara who hinted that his resignation was based on personal reasons also said that it was with immediate effect from the date of the letter.
The letter reads, “I am hereby tendering my resignation as National Secretary and member of the association for personal reasons, with immediate effect from the date of this letter.
“As you are aware, I am based in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, so all the properties of the association which are in the National Secretariat are in the custody of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“I will in due course present my out of pocket expenses for refund.”
Meanwhile, the association weeks later announced the removal and expulsion of the former National Secretary, Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara on account of insubordination.
This was contained in a letter dated 1st June, 2020 and addressed to Opara by Mr. Ejike Metu and Mr. Innocent Elum, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the AREFFN Board of Trustees (BoT) and copied the National Executive Committee and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) as well as made available to Primetime Reporters on Monday.
The letter reads, “Recall that sequel to a letter of complaint brought against you by the President, the Board had on the 16th of May, 2020 issued you a query with a directive to answer same within fourteen (14) days.
“Recall also that instead of complying with the directive, you chose to abdicate your responsibilities by not only resigning your office but also withdrawing your membership of the association. And while efforts were still being made to address the matter, you rushed to the press in defiance of our internal conflict resolution mechanism.
“Believing you to have acted on impulse, the Board had refused to join issues with you in the press hoping that you would retrace your steps on a sober reflection. Unfortunately, that was not to be. But we would not relent in our efforts to make peace.
“Thus in our letter dated 19th May, 2020, we rejected your resignation and further urged you to do justice to our query to pave way for reconciliation.
“Again, you refused to heed to our advice. Instead, you would go back to the press and the social media platforms with petty comments fit only for the trash can.
“Indeed, the totality of your conduct in this matter represents gross insubordination and so much more. Notably, your refusal to answer to our query gives evidence that you committed the offences as Mr. President alleged in his petition. Consequently, we are left with no other option but to remove you from office as the National Secretary and expel you from the association for good. You stand so removed and expelled.
“Please hand over all documents and other property of the association in your possession to the Assistant National Secretary with immediate effect.”
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