ANLCA suspends Oyeniyi, Ofobike, Mustapha, others over anti-association activities


…Dismisses Kano Court order sacking Taiwo Afolabi-led BOT, NECOM

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Wednesday announced the suspension of the former Secretary of the association’s Board of Trustees (BOT), Prince Taiye Oyeniyi, a former member of the BOT, Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha and the Coordinator, Western Zone of the association, Sir John Ofobike over anti-association activities.

The Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto who made the announcement in a press briefing at the association’s headquarters in Lagos also disclosed that a member of the association at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) chapter, Mr. Tope Akindele was also suspended over alleged acts of indiscipline against the association.

Farinto stated that other chieftains of the association suspended for the alleged misconduct were Chief Dennis Okafor of Denca Services Limited who also is a former member of the BOT and the Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Mr. Joe Sanni of Multimodal Logistics Services Limited.

Explaining the rationale behind the suspension of the members, Dr. Farinto who is also the Chairman, National Disciplinary Committee, ANLCA, disclosed that the National President of the association on December 16, 2020 directed the committee to investigate alleged misconduct of some of the members of the association and committee which sat on December 21, 2021, January 15, 2021 and February 4, 2021 deliberated on the assignment.

According to him, some of the allegations against Joe Sanni for which he was not able to produce any tangible defence, were unauthorized publication, press releases and announcement as it concerns ANLCA.

Others were wrong and deliberate misrepresentation of Court Judgment, Ruling and Orders as it concerns ANLCA with the intention to ridicule the association and reduce it in the eyes of responsible members of the public, deliberate character assassination, use of abusive and derogatory words and moral mudslinging on the persons of the National President of ANLCA, NECOM members and other stakeholders against the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA.

Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha was accused of refusal to abide by Court Judgment in suit no. FHC/L/CS/1274/2018 which confirmed that he is not a registered Trustee of the BOT of ANLCA much less the Chairman of the BOT; appointment of parallel electoral officers with the intention of causing them to conduct a kangaroo election/selection for the Western Chapters; usurping the powers of the National President by acting as one by administering Oath of Office to those selected in the Kangaroo election.

He was equally accused of filing court cases against ANLCA without taking advantage of arbitration contrary to the provision of the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA that recommended passing through arbitration before taking up litigation in law court in matters that concerns ANLCA.

On Chief Dennis Okofor, the ANLCA disciplinary committee Chairman accused him of acting as a BOT member when his tenure has expired. He was equally accused of taking part in the alleged illegal selection and administering of Oath of Office on those selected.

Prince Taiye Oyeniyi was accused of taking the association to court, receive the summons on behalf of the association and went ahead to appoint Defence Counsel thereby making himself the Plaintiff and Defendant at the same time.

He was equally accused of illegally collecting Form 48 and 49 on two occasions seeking to commute the National President and some NECOM members to prison, acting as a member of BOT when his tenure has expired thereby arrogating to himself powers he never had.

On the basis of these and other allegations, the four former national officers of the association were suspended. However, the act of indiscipline that the MMIA Chapter member was suspended was committed at the chapter.

Also speaking, the National Secretary, ANLCA, Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde said the suspended members have the right to appeal their suspension to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association if they are not comfortable with the decision while the chapter member suspended by the Chapter Disciplinary Committee can appeal his own case to the NECOM.

According to Mukaila, only the two bodies have the powers to sustain the suspension or upturn the decision if an appeal is made saying, “Until that is done, the suspended members remain suspended.”

Meanwhile, the order of interim injunction restraining the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Iju Tony Nwabunike, members of his National Executive Committee (NECOM), BoT Chairman Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and other members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) elected in the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Owerri, the Imo State capital from parading themselves as leaders of the association has been dismissed as time barred by the association.

The court injunction which purportedly sacked the newly elected BOT, Chaired by the SIFAX Group boss, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi was said to be time barred as it was issued on March 25th, 2021 and its validity expired after seven days.
According to the Vice President of the association, Dr. Kayode Farinto, Taiwo Mustapha -led BOT has since been declared illegal and illegitimate by the National Executive Council (NECOM) of ANLCA stating that none of the persons named as defendants in the Kano court injunction which restrained Afolabi-Taiwo- led BOT from acting, signing or writing letters and parading themselves as Trustees of ANLCA has either served as a person or through the National Secretariat of the association in Lagos or its Kano office.
He disclosed that there was no injunction in the first place as the association has not been served, either at the National Secretariat or in Kano chapter adding that Taiwo Mustapha who got the purported injunction is not known to ANLCA as he is not a member of the Association.
Farinto hinted further that Mustapha and all his cohorts who are fomenting trouble in ANLCA have all been suspended for anti- association activities by the National Disciplinary Committee and ceased to be members of the Association, the resolution of which they have been given.
“The BOT led by Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is intact, the decision to sack Mustapha and his men would not further plunge ANLCA into deeper crisis as people may think, the decision was taken in the best interest of the association and in order to keep the sanctity of ANLCA constitution which the sacked members have desecrated though their actions and deeds.
”The constitution of ANLCA is supreme and sacrosanct. If you must be a member of ANLCA, section 2 says the constitution is supreme. Another section of the constitution also says that when your acts, utterances and behaviour are seen to be anti-association, you can be punished. You can be asked to face disciplinary action which they have done. You will agree with me that all their utterances in the past few months shows they are not good association members,” Farinto declared.
He however added that the suspended members can go to court to challenge their suspension if they so desired.
In his words, “They can go to court if they so wish. The court will even ask them if they have exhausted the internal dispute resolution mechanism. Section 26 of the ANLCA constitution which talks about arbitration. We would not continue to tolerate illegality. You can’t just be going to court without going through the internal conflict resolution mechanism of the association which says that you must submit yourself to the arbitration panel.”

Photo: ANLCA National President, Iju Tony Nwabunike.

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