Some aggrieved members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) who lost in the recent National Executive Committee (NECOM) elections have asked a Federal High court in Lagos to nullify the election over “flagrant non-conformity and compliance with the association’s constitution and electoral guidelines”.
The suit instituted by Sakay and Company Nigeria Limited, Bio Bio Ventures Limited, Mr Abiodun Ogunfowora and Kayode Oyinlola, a Vice Presidential aspirant in the election held on March 8, 2018 joined the immediate past president, Prince Olayiwola Shittu and the association’s Board of Trustees (BOT) as defendants.
In the suit filed on April 11, a copy of which was obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration of the court directing the BOT to reconstitute the electoral body by removal of the Chairman, Barr. Raymond Onyimba, and substituting him with an eligible member who is qualified under the constitution of the association.
The plaintiffs also sought for an order to restrain the newly elected National Executive Committee (NECOM) joined as defendants, from presenting themselves for swearing in into offices of the National Executive Committee of the association pending the final determination of the suit.
The plaintiffs are also asking for a declaration that only the national officers stipulated in section five and six of the association’s constitution are eligible to vote in the NECOM election and in consequence, votes of the ineligible voters are void.
The plaintiffs also prayed the court to mandate the first respondents to set up a caretaker committee to oversee the administration of the association until a credible election is held within six monthsfrom the date of the order.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division.
Meanwhile Prince Olayiwola Shittu formally completed his tenure as National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Saturday as he formally handed over to his successor, Tony Iju-Nwabunike.
Shittu, who was first elected in 2010, is the first ANLCA President to serve two terms. He was re-elected unopposed in 2014.
Shittu has been credited with several achievements as ANLCA President including bringing sanity into the association, professionalisation of members and the acquisition of a multimillion naira permanent secretariat.
Several ANLCA members who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY commended Shittu and his team for repositioning the association, even as they charged the incoming ANLCA leaders to build on the legacies of the outgoing executives.
“There is no substitute for truth, honesty, dedication to duty, hard work and commitment. These qualities are all that you stand for and represent. You have raised the ladder of leadership with exemplary democracy. You are a rare breed,” former Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo, had said in a message to Shittu.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who was represented at the handover ceremony by the Coordinator, Zone A of the NCS, Aminu Dahiru, while congratulating Shittu for the successful completion of his eight-year tenure, urged the new ANLCA President, Tony Iju-Nwabunike, to build on the foundation laid by his predecessor for the association to continue to grow.
Representative of the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Lami Tumaka said Shittu’s exemplary leadership is worthy of emulation even as she appealed to members of ANLCA to extend the same support to Nwabunike.
On his part, Shittu called on aggrieved members of the association to join hands with the new leadership to move the association forward.
According to him, once election is over, nobody has the right to question the collective will of the majority.
He said,” Election in ANLCA has become an institution, a system of envy. But like all elections in Nigeria, it will be contentious; there will be disagreement but I have always believe in patience.
“In the history of ANLCA today, some people wanted a position but did not get it and today, they have become greater than what they were fighting for. Our former President, Elochukwu is an example. That time he fought, you will think that it is the end of the world but the world will succeed everyone of us whether we like it or not.
“ANLCA is an ongoing project just like Nigeria. There is going to be many Presidents and some will pass on but ANLCA will continue to remain. That must be the watchword of every one of us. If you find the President doing something wrong, reach out to him. He is not infallible. I hurt a lot of people because I have to get the job done. I will like to say, those of you I match your toes, may God heal the toes.”
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