The tide may be getting rougher for the National President of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria (AREFFN), Dr. Frank Ukor, as he may no longer enjoy the overwhelming support of the members, particularly in his fight against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over alleged victimisation.
Ukor, who has been battling with the present administration of NCS since the suspension of his company’s license, Destiny Impex Limited, which he told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY was allegedly blocked because he kicked against the then-proposed auctioning of overtime containers at the ports, may end up in a battle with the AREFFN National Executive and Board of Trustee (BoT) members over what the BoT, Mr. Innocent Elum, described as “ clandestinely using the name of our great association to settle his personal scores with the NCS.”
Elum, who also doubles at the AREFFN Vice President, had accused the AREFFN National President of writing a document that contained false allegations against the NCS with the letterhead of the association.
According to a statement signed by Elum and sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY: “The National Executive members of the AREFFN came across a neurotic document authored by Dr. Frank Ukor titled “Those who live in a Glass House should not throw stones” and addressed to the CG of Customs wherein he made spurious allegations against the NCS. We wish to dissociate from the said document and to state that plans are underway to discipline Dr. Ukor in accordance with our constitution for clandestinely using the name of our great association to settle his personal scores with the NCS.”
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY had gotten in touch with Elum, who further explained that AREFFN was irked that its National President had not only written the document, which he also described as a stinker, but had also sent it without the knowledge of other executive members of the association.
Elum said: “It wouldn’t have disturbed us one bit if Frank has written the document in his capacity as Frank Ukor, Managing Director Destiny Impex Nigeria Limited. My problem is that Frank used the letterhead of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of which am a principal of it, a letterhead that has my phone number, accusing customs of corruption and so many unprintable things. I wouldn’t have been perturbed still if this document had remained in the possession of Mr. Frank Ukor but as am speaking with you now the Nigeria Customs Service has invited Dr. Ukor in respect of that document. The language of the invitation letter which I read was that he should come and explain the connotation of the language that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”
He went on: “It wasn’t AREFFN that wrote that letter! It was Frank Ukor who sees AREFF as his property, who sees AREFF as his Destiny Impex, who sees AREFF as Eckankar, he even mentioned Eckankar in the letter. AREFF is not aware of that document emanating from Frank Ukor. It was Frank Ukor who solely wrote that letter, packaged it and sent it to Abuja without the input of anybody.”
He said that he is even more disturbed that Ukor’s alleged rash moves may lead to the Nigeria Customs Service waging a war against the association as a whole or even worse the deregistering of the association.
On reaching Ukor for his reaction to this latest development, he simply told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY thus: “Don’t mind Elum, he is a clown. All these are figments of his imagination.”
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