Jolapamo warns against parrallel shipowners body as panel upholds Labinjo’s election

Outgoing Chairman of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapamo yesterday appealed to aggrieved members of the association not to set up a parallel body as that would undermine the struggle to develop indigenous operations.

Jolapamo made the appeal in Lagos yesterday  shortly after he received the report of the NISA Electoral Petition Panel (NEPP).

“I am jolted by the report. I must confess that they did a thorough job within a relatively short time.

“They have given us hope to continue to stay together. We should all stay here (in NISA) together and forge a common front,” the NISA founding Chairman stated.

The NEPP Chairman, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), announced that Captain Niyi Labinjo was validly elected NISA President. He stated that the outcome of the NISA election held on October 24, 2014 “was carried out with minimal margins of error” and “reflects the wishes of the majority of NISA members”.

He said, “Our findings, conclusion and recommendations were borne out of painstaking and studious and studied deliberation.”

While throwing out the petitions filed by Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and Mr. Temisan Omatseye who both contested against Labinjo, the NEPP Chairman said: “We believe only God is perfect; even this maxim, albeit absolutely true, does not seem to apply to everyone, in the sense that, otherwise why would people indulge in acts that change their original and natural state of being.

“So, all systems and all processes cannot, mostly are not, and will not be perfect. In that regard, we cannot but expect some margin of error in this Election process. We must point out that from our observations and within the best of our collective and individual judgments, the Election was carried with minimal margins of error, and so ASSECO and the respective Members of ASSECO headed by Capt. Niyi Adeyemo must be commended for a good job done.

“As it is, we believe the election reflects the wishes of the NISA membership, vox populi vox Dei.

“So in essence, the results of the Election should stand as declared by the Returning Officer – NIMASA,” he stated.

Labinjo had defeated fellow contenders, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye.

At the election conducted on 24th October, 2014 at Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos; Labinjo polled 31 votes to defeat Ogbeifun, a marine engineer and pioneer Chairman of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), who polled 23 votes while Omatseye got six votes.

But in their petitions sent to the association’s electoral committee (ASSECO), copies of which were obtained exclusively by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, Ogbeifun and Omatseye said that Labinjo did not pay his association’s due and did not qualify to contest the election.

Ogbeifun’s petition stated in part, “According to Article 4 of the constitution (that deals with the issue of membership) which provides that for any person or corporation to be a member he should “own at least one ship of not less than 150 GRT registered under the Merchant Shipping Act 200?. It is therefore our position that Al-Dawood Shipping who are the sponsors of one of the presidential contestants do not own a vessel and therefore was not qualified ab initio to have contested for the post in as much that at the time the election took place the said Al-Dawood did not own a vessel and should not have been considered to be a member of the Association.” Ogebifun also claimed that Labinjo ought to have been disqualified from contesting the election because he did not pay the association’s due as required by the election guidelines.

Ogbeifun called for the cancellation of the election result stating that, “In view of the above allegations and our position, I request that the results of the Presidential election be set aside and that any and all plans to inaugurate the said NISA executive be put on hold subject to the final outcome of the findings of the Electoral Appeal Panel.”

The Ndubuisi Kanu-led electoral panel however, threw out the petitions.