Amiwero fights for full control again
… Writes terminal operators, CACs, AIG Zone 2, others over organisation’s factionalisation
Long-serving National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents (NCMDCLA), Mr. Lucky Eyis Amiwero, is making fresh moves to regain full control of the organisation which he has headed for over a decade and half, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY can authoritatively report.
In his current campaign to reassert his leadership of the NCMDLCA, which has contended with factionalisation in the past few years, Amiwero recently, wrote terminal operators, Customs Area Controllers (CACs), and Assistant Inspector-General, Zone 2, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), among others.
Except for the various different addressees, the copies of the letted sighted by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY bore the same date: 9th September, 2013; and title: FORWARDING THE DOCUMENT OF UNWHOLESOME ACTIVITIES CRIMINALIZING AND IMPERSONATING THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MANAGING DIRECTORS OF LICENSED CUSTOMS AGENT (sic) (NCMDLCA) BY CHIEF FESTUS EJIOFOR, BENETH DEH, KUNLE OLAKAMI AND PRINCE OBIEZE.
“We forward here crucial document that are (sic) very vital for your perusal to ascertain the character of these impersonators and fraud stars (sic) in the ports,” Amiwero stated in the copies of the letter, all of which bore his signature.
He went on: “The police investigation report on the case of impersonation and forgery of Membership Certificate of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent (sic) (NCMDCLA) on the fraudulent activities of these impersonators, who claims (sic) to be members of the NCMDCLA. The charge sheet of Beneth Ndeh with two court (sic) charge on (sic) forgery and felony, copies are attached and marked appendix 1 and 1a respectively.
“A court ruling at Igbesere Magistrate Court of Lagos State Court 10 against Beneth Ndeh filed by the Commissioner of Police on the impersonation and forgery of Membership Certificate stated above. A copy is attached and marked appendix 2.
“A copy of a Notice of Disclaimer sent to various parastatals by the NCMDCLA solicitor clearly state these impersonators are legally parading themselves as members. A copy is attached and marked appendix 3.
“The charge sheets of charge No F/23/2010 from the Commissioner of Police for kunle Olakami, Beneth Ndeh and Obieze. A copy is attached and marked appendix 4.
“A copy of a letter from the Honourable Minister of Finance which has taking a stand after perusal of the several document sent to them are sufficient evidence against those criminal elements. A copy is attached and marked appendix 5.”
The appendix 1 referred to in the letter is a correspondence signed by a Chief Superintendent of Police Salau Usman, Second-in-Command, Zonal Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Zone 2, Lagos.
Dated 7th July, 2011, the Police letter bore reference number CB: 4099/ZN.2/X/D1/VOL 152/148, and was titled: POLICE INVESTIGATION REPORT RE: CASE OF IMPERSONATION AND FORGERY OF MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATE OF NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MANAGING DIRECTORS OF LICENCED CUSTOM AGENT (sic).
The report stated: “l refer to your letter dated 16th of June, 2011 in respect of the above mention as requested.
“On the 11th of February 2011, your petition dated 10th of February 2011 addressed to the AIG Zone 2 Lagos was received for investigation. In the petition, it was alleged that Chief Festus Osaji Ejiofor and Mr. Ben N. Ndu who are not member (sic) of the above named council law in several places and before many people paraded themselves as the President and Secretary of the council respectively.
“The petitioner stated further that the two suspects forged certificate No. 0072 belonging to CHINEX INVESTMENT LTD and M0052 belonging to Doremi and Company Ltd.
“In the course of invstigation, Chief Festus Osaji Ejiofor and Ben U Ndu were arrested for questioning. Both suspects claimed to be financial member (sic) of the council and that they are President and Secretary respectively, but their names were not found in the register containing the members of the council. The membership certificate No. 0072 was sent to FCID for signature analysis and the report from their end shows that there is disparity between the specimen signature of’ the President and Chairman Registration Committee and that on the certificate.
“In view of the foregoing, there is overwhelming evidence for a charge of impersonation and forgery to preferred against the two suspects and steps are being taken by the Police to prosecute the two offenders, please.”
The appendix 1a is CHARGE NO: J/35/2011 COMMISSIONER OF POLICE VERSUS BENNETH NDEE ‘M’ AGED 43YRS, which stated: “That you Benneth Ndee ‘m’ on or before 14th of February 2011 at No. 30, Adele Road, Apapa, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District did conspire with others now at Large to commit felony to wit: forgery and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C17, Vol. II, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
“COUNT II:- That you Benneth Ndee ‘m’ on the same date, time and place in the Lagos Magisterial District did forge the Certificate No M0052 National Council of Managing Director of Licence Customs Agent knowing same to be false and with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as been genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 465 and punishable under Section 467 of the Criminal Code and C17, Vol II, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
The appendix 2 is the ruling of the Igbosere Magistrate Court 10 presided over by Mr. B. A. Sonuga on July 11, 2010.
The document which was titled C.O.P VS BENNETH NDEE RULING, stated: “This is a notice of Preliminary objection dated the 22nd day of February, 2012 brought by the defendant/Applicant on the following grounds.
• That the accused person has been tried but discharged on merit for the same offences bordering on the same fact as in this case in RE: C.O.P VS OLUKANNI, BEN NDEE AND OBI EZE F/23/2010.
• That the offences of conspiracy and forgery in charge No. F/23A/2010 are the same as in this case in the sense that they both arose from the same transaction and fact.
• That the trial of the defendant in this case will prejudice the outcome of suit No. FH/C/L/CS.1040/11 Instituted by the defendant and one other at the Federal High Court seeking interalia, an injection restraining the complainant herein from institution this charge on the ground that it would violate his right against double jeopardy.
• That the trial of the accused person in this case will biolate his right to fair hearing as guaranteed under section 36 (9) of the 1999 constitution.
• That the Complainant being a corporate person did not have the authority of her registered trustees to write the petition to the Police that initiated this prosecution.
“The reliefs sought by the defendant/Applicant are as follows:
• An order of this court to dismiss this case and discharge the accused person for want of jurisdiction.
• An order of this court to declare that the ingredients of this case are the same as the ingredient in the cause of C.O.P vs Kunle Olukanni and 2 others and that having been discharged on merit on those alleged offences, the accused person cannot again be tried in this case.
• And for such further order or orders as this court deem fit to make in the circumstances.
“The notice of Preliminary objectin is supported by a 10 paragraph affidavit and a written address. Attached to the written address are exhibits ABCD and E.
“In response to this notice of preliminary objection, the Respondent … a paragraph affidavit and a written address. Also attached to the counter affidavit are some exhibits. The defendant/applicant thereafter filed a reply to the counter affidavit. The defendant/Applicant in his written address was of the view that the charge in this case had been dealt with by a Magistrate Court in Ebute-Metta where the defendant/Applicant along with two others were discharged in charge No. F/23.2012. The defendant/Applicant’s Counsel therefore relies on a plea of autrefois acquit.
“However having read carefully the affidavits filed by both parties coupled with their written addresses, I am of the considered view that charge No. F/23A/10 dealt with at Ebute-Metta Magistrate court is different from this charge in the sense that charge F/23A/10 deals with the allegation of forging of the letter headed paper of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents. Also the offence of Forgery in charge No. F/23A/2010 was allegedly committed in year 2009 while the offence of forgery in the present charge was allegedly committed in year 2011. It is therefore cristally clear from the foregoing that the two charges are different from each other and to this effect, the notice of preliminary objection brought by the defendant/Applicant is hereby dismissed while the prosecution is accordingly called upon to open its case.”
A letter from the Home Finance Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, which had been addressed to Amiwero, was listed as appendix 5.
The document, which bone reference number F.19624/TR/CRFN/1/44, and was dated 17th May, 2010, was titled: RE: FORWARDING OF DOCUMENT ON THE UNWHOLESOME ACTIVITIES CRIMINAUZING AND IMPERSONATING THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MANAGING DIRECTORS OF L1CEIKED CUSTOMS AGENTS (NCMDLCA) – BY PRINCE OBIEZEH, MR. KULE OLAKANMI AND MR. BENNETH.
The letter which was signed by one M.A. Madumere on behalf of the Finance Minister stated: “I am directed to acknowledge the receipt’ of your letter dated 19th April, 2010 on the above subject matter and to observe that the points highlighted therein as well as in the attached appendixes are sufficient evidences against those criminal elements.
“However, l am to further point out, that your letter has neither stated what action your organization as a major stakeholder had taken nor is intending to take in order to curb such nefarious activities.
“In this light, please feel free to request the intervention of this Ministry on any specific area (s) you deem necessary.”