The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has given reasons why it is yet to conclude registration of its new Board of Trustees (BoT) one year after it was elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association held at the Imo Concorde Hotels, Owerri, the Imo State capital on the 16th of December, 2020.
Speaking in a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, the National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila noted that the objection raised by the Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha led faction at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as well as the court processes instituted by the faction was responsible for the delays being witnessed in the registration process.
Mukaila informed that the association had commenced the registration process shortly after the new Board was inaugurated by applying for the names of the new Board members to be regularized at the CAC but was put on hold by the CAC on receiving the said objection and notice of court proceeding by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha.
According to him, “As soon as we elected this present Board, we put in application for their registration and promptly too, these same guys went to court claiming they are still Board members and the CAC replied that they have application process going on. You claim you are still Board members, go and prove your position in court, exhaust all that process. When you are done, we are waiting to get the pronouncement of the court. So, just to answer you straight, the application is ongoing, they tried to put a stud and we want them to actually burn out that process.
He, however, made it very clear that the running of the day to day activities of the association was well spelt under Section 6 which stated that the association shall be governed and administered by the following officers which shall be known as the National Executive Committee.
“So, the governance of this association rests on this NECOM not the Board and the function of the Board too is clearly stated under Section 13 – to be vested with all the properties and interest of whatsoever nature for tenure belonging to or held by any person in trust for the association. So, if they leave this and you see them junketing to Abuja, changing their function of holding in trust our property to day to day governance, of course, they are contravening this constitution and that was why they were shown the way out.
“The process of registration has commenced, it will be seen to the logical and final conclusion and the case they filed to claim that they are still Board members has been 70 to 75 percent lost because before Justice Oguntoyinbo at the Federal High Court, the woman said ‘look, you cannot stand here to call yourself a Board, therefore, your lawyer representing you should withdraw his counseling and representation and file every other thing against the association before the lawyer representing the association. As far as I am concerned, your tenure is over.’ That is what the woman said. The case came up about two to three weeks ago.
“So, we are allowing them to burn out the process and their rights while we paused this process because the CAC said they are not coming to court to answer any question, that the Act setting them up said they can issue certificate and they can as well withdraw the certificate when the fact emerge and that they have withdrawn the certificate that they gave to them. And that was why they sued the CAC to return their certificate and the CAC has refused to come to any court insisting that the certificate remained withdrawn. They got it under pretense.
“Let me put this into very straight perspective, what Mr. Eniola is trying to say, when this building was constructed, we have a plaque just at the entrance, who were the Board members? When this project was consummated, their names were well written. What tenure do they have? And that is exactly what they are trying to elongate by force which is not going to happen”, he explained.
When asked if there was any court injunction stopping the CAC from registering the Board members as registered trustees of the association, he replied, “There is no injunction. What CAC has said is that ‘we are processing your application, however, we got a letter of objection’ because the CAC will always publish names of the would-be Board members in case if anybody has any objection. ‘We got a letter of objection from a set of people and this objection equally stated that there is a litigation process that they have started’ and the CAC said, ‘based on this, you meet them up and clarify that litigation with them in a proper court where they have taken you to’ and we said fine, we are aware of this and we are going ahead with them on this process.
“What they have now done is to institute another case suing the CAC to return their certificate, at the same time, they are objecting that this Board should not be registered and they are fighting the CAC to give them back their certificate to legalize themselves. So, what we have done is to play our own part, CAC is aware of this Board, they have their application and they have an objection which CAC wants Mustapha to go and prove in court and he has failed to do that.
“It will interest all of you to know that after filing that application and he heard what the Judge said, he abandoned it and went to Kano and instituted the same process in Kano, trying to sue CAC in Kano and we just ignored that case because we know it is going nowhere. And we have concentrated in the Federal High Court case where the court told him, you cannot file any case as a Board because the court has their way of doing their due diligence. The court actually wrote to the CAC and they got a feedback and that was when it told him you cannot sue as a Board.”
Photo: Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila, National Secretary, ANLCA.
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