The newly-elected executives of chapters in the Western Zone of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) can now sit comfortably on their new seats of power, as they were yesterday presented their Certificates of Return.
The Certificates of Return were presented to those of them, who had been sworn into office last February but were not issued their Certificates of Return, by the ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, at the association’s National Secretariat at Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
In his speech, before handing out the certificates, Shittu asserted that the Elections Petitions Panel, set up by the association to investigate allegations of malpractices in the conduct of the Western Zone chapters elections held last January, turned out to be influenced by “godfathers” in the association, who, according to him, sought to sway the panel’s report to favour their selfish interests.
Shittu also noted that the handing over of the certificates of return to the executives is based on the final decision of ANLCA’s Board of Trustees (BoT), which, according to him, is quite different from the recommendations contained in the report submitted by the panel.
“It is not surprising that the final result on the petition panel turned out to be what it is as a result of the fact that we have always subsumed the interest of this association for personal interest. That was what I met three years ago and unfortunately it is still rearing its head because some few people who believe that they are godfathers, who believe they are kingmakers, will not let go forgetting that time changes everything. People are neither the national president who has the executive function of being in charge of this association and they are not chairman BoT who has the responsibility to advise and be a watch dog on all our activities but they have assumed the roles and telling the whole world that they are superior to the authority that they do not have in the constitution. I tell you that they can only try because this association will outlive all of them,” Shittu stated.
He further said: “We set up a panel and the same people still infiltrated the panel. That is why the report of the panel differs from the report of the overall and nobody is greater than the overall. It is my duty as the national president of this association to uphold the outcome of the decision of the Board of Trustee on behalf of the association. And I can tell you that due consultation was made by the Board with NECOM in order to arrive at that decision.”
Prior to the Certificates of Return hand-over ceremony, it was gathered that the ANLCA BoT had last Thursday passed its verdict based on the panel’s report.
The verdict included that the result of the Apapa Chapter elections be sustained; the election of the Chairmana, PTML Chapter, Prince Bol Adeniran, be upheld; the re-election of the immediate past Chairman, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Chapter, Comrade Alloy Anokwuru, be upheld, while elections for the other positions of the chapter be re-run; and that the elections of the offices contested for Murtalla Muhammed International Airport Chapter be upheld, excluding that of the Vice Chairman, in view of the BoT’s directive that his documents and qualifications be critically examined, and bye-election be conducted for other offices of the chapter.
The Tin-Can Island Chapter was not left out, as the BoT directed that “if the former executive officers have paid the chapter’s dues to the national body, and they qualify as per the electoral guidelines, any of them is free to contest in the elections.”
The BoT had also declared the dissolution of the Association Electoral Committee (ASECO), while directing the immediate constitution of a new one.
The BoT Chairman, Chief Henry Njoku, confirmed the decision to dissolve the association’s electoral body, which was one of the recommendations in the report submitted by the panel.
Njoku said: “In the first place, ASECO is not a permanent committee and cannot remain forever. It is only an ad-hoc committee. As to the reason why the ASECO was dissolve, If you observed, there were complaints here and there over the conduct of the elections and we set up a panel to look into what went wrong. We discovered that there were so many lapses and based on that we felt that something should be done. Part of the lapses was that the members of the committee was supposed to have published all their lists and made sure that they were ready before the election. The election also started very late, about 4pm, and that’s not the idea. The way it ought to be was that the election should have been finished by 4 or at most 5pm. Based on this, and complaints from our members, we had to dissolve the committee so as to correct these lapses so they won’t happen in the next election.”
Meanwhile, the newly-elected executives of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Chapter of ANLCA were sworn into office on Tuesday.
The presided by the ANLCA National Vice President, Mr. Kingsley Nwokeoji, saw the re-elected Chairman of the chapter, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Akanbi, sworn in alongside the newly-elected Vice Chairman, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Sulaimon; and Secretary, Alhaji Abdulazeez Abdusalam.