ANLCA election controversy deepens as Farinto, others threaten legal action

Some members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have demanded that the decisions reached at the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Monday 31st March, 2014 be reversed.

The corporate members namely Wealthy Honey Investment Nigeria Limited, Waaz Ultimate Global Link Limited, Adekat International Agencies Limited, Tabo & Sons Nigeria Limited, Danmeyaki Investment Limited, Factotum Nigeria Limited and Abiofrank (Nigeria) Enterprises Limited, as clients of Maritime & Commercial Law Partners, in a letter addressed to the Registered Trustees of ANLCA expressed dissatisfaction with the decisions that the National Executive Committee (NECOM) election would hold in two weeks from the day the emergency NEC meeting held and that only members of the National Executive Council of ANLCA are entitled to vote in the forthcoming election.

The letter dated 2nd April 2014 titled NOTIFICATION OF DISAGREEMENT OVER THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON THE MATTER OF THE FORTH-COMING ELECTION OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS and signed by the Managing Partner of Maritime & Commercial Law Partners, Chief (Sir) Osuala Nwagbara asserted that it is unconstitutional to conduct election into the National Executive Committee (NECOM) by electoral college; unconstitutional to stipulate two weeks as date for holding such election from the date of publication of the decision; and unconstitutional not to have lifted ban for campaign into the various offices of the NECOM three months before the expiration of the tenure of offices of the incumbent executives of the association.

Nwagbara said that the decision at the meeting that only NEC members are entitled to vote in the NECOM election would result in the disenfranchisement of aspirants that are not members of the Council.

He stated: “Our clients are interested in contesting offices at the National Executive Committee level and are afraid that these decisions of the National Executive Council will disenfranchise them and their followers, i.e to say that they and their followers will be denied the right to vote.

The decision will also deny our clients the adequate opportunity to campaign to the general members of ANLCA on issues and inform them of the programme they will implement in office if and when voted in and to allow them inform the general members of their manifestoes for an informed choice of leadership in a general election”

“Our clients have briefed us that the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA does not make provision for election of national officers by Electoral College. Indeed a study of the Constitution of ANLCA reveals to us that Sections 21 and 22 thereof speak of General Meeting of ANLCA; who is entitle to attend the General Meeting and business to be transacted by the General Meeting” Nwagbara further stated.

He cited Section 22 (1) of the ANLCA as having provided that election of the National Executive Committee shall be held during the last tenure of the National Executive Council Annual General Meeting of the incumbent administration.

Nwagbara said that failure of the ANLCA registered trustees to reverse the decisions taken at the emergency NEC meeting and carry out a full implementation of the relevant sections provided by the Supreme Constitution of ANLCA in defense of his clients’ claims seven days from the date of the letter, the letter “serves a s a DECLARATION and NOTIFICATION to you of DISPUTE based on the complaints made in this letter.”

“If you do not comply with the contents of this letter as regards remedying the breaches of the provisions of the Supreme Constitution within the time stipulated in this letter, we shall immediately at the expiration thereof send to you our party nominated arbitrator to adjudicate this dispute” he further stated.