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By Innocent Orok

According to Dorothy Day ” I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions” .

The protracted crisis in the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has attracted so much furore and mischiefs such that non members and the general public are misled on the true position of the crises.
Even the media are caught in the web of half truth, grandstand positions and unconstitutional claims. In this confusion , the media mostly depends on what the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the crises told them.

While some will back their various positions with court judgments , others parades misinterpretations and positions as their defence .The media has to go further to dig deep into provisions of the association’s constitution which is the codes and regulations guiding their activities, least they are misled to misinform the public out of ignorance or pecuniary gains.

While this article may not dwell on the whole hug of the ANLCA crises, it is solely to take a look at the Conduct of ANLCA Chapter elections as provided by the ANLCA Supreme Constitution via-a-viz the current situation in the association.

It could be recalled that a timetable for the conduct of Western Chapters Election of the association flooded the social media last week. Subsequently elections to the chapters was said to have been held by some aggrieved (Faction) members in a hotel at Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State.

The elected chapter leaders in the Western Zone were later sworn into office by Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha. Since then, the public have been thrown into confusion, despite the disclaimer notice issued by the association’s National Executive Committee (NECOM). The disclaimer notice was signed by the elected National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Abdulazeez Mukaila.

It is of public knowledge according to the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 as amended, Part C, that before any organization or association is been registered it must have/ provide its constitution. The constitution becomes the operational guidelines which CAMA expects the association and its members to uphold. Upon the successful registration of such association the various provisions of the association’s constitution becomes binding on all members, not minding your position nor how powerful and rich you might have become in the association.

According to the current ANLCA’s Supreme constitution dated and signed on 20th May 2013, by the National President and National Secretary respectively of that period , Section 22 deals with elections . This section explains explicitly all the requirements and qualifications for the various elective positions in ANLCA. No 4 in that section says: “The election shall conducted within there ( 3) months prior to the expiration of the tenure of the Chapter Executive Council and the National Executive Council as the case may be”
Number 6 in the same section says.
” the election shall be held on a date and place to be designated by the Association Electoral Commission (ASECO).

Who appoints ASECO and monitor elections?. Again Section 13 of the ANLCA supreme Constitution Number 5 under Functions, (d) vested the powers to appoint the association’s ASECO on the Board of Trustees, but to be rectified by the National Executive Council. “appoint members of the Association Electoral Commission to be rectified by National Executive Council and monitor an elections. ( National Executive Council comprises of the President and his executive members BoT members and Chapter Chairmen of the association)

Number 6 (Tenure) of the same Section 13 also specify the number of years the Board members should serve and how a board member can be removed .”A trustee shall hold office for a term of Six (6) years , unless re-elected . Subject to the provisions of this constitution, a member of the board shall be removed if–+-.

If these sections of the constitution is to be followed as binding on members, then concerning the recently held Western Zones elections , who and on which meeting did Obi Chima appointed as Chairman of ASECO and in which National Executive Council meeting was him and his members rectified as ASECO chairman and members respectively. Who presided over that meeting, as the ANLCA constitution only empowers the National president to summoned and preside over such meetings?

Again according to the association’s constitution, is only the National President that can signed Chapter Executives certificate of returns after wining election and subsequently swore- in chapter Executives. If the organisers of the recently held Western zone elections are not abusing their constitution, then why should Alhaji Taiwo Mustapha singned and swore- in the Western zone Chapter chairmen? Can he avail the public where such powers is conferred on him by their constitution?, even if he was substantive BOT chairman.

Suffice to say that, it is unfortunate that leaders , Fathers, Grandfathers and Great grandfathers are parading themselves in ANLCA as men of low integrity and elders of destruction. For what purpose, gain or reason.?

For the perpetrators and backers of these abuses in ANLCA, I leave them with these words of Mary Pickford ” If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. ANLCA will be Great again.

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