Contrary to the much speculated leadership crisis in the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National president of the association, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike has on Wednesday disclosed that there is no leadership crisis in ANLCA but just a misunderstanding that are bound to happen in every organisation.
Nwabunike who disclosed this during a chat with some news men at the association’s headquarters in Lagos said ANLCA is one big family, a mini-Nigeria that has been around since 1954 with every tribe of the country well represented and such “it is not unexpected for us to have different perspectives, but it is necessary to harness all these perspectives for the benefit of the association”
He hinted that Nigeria as a whole is going through transformation, so also many professional bodies of which ANLCA is inclusive and whatever issues going on within the association presently is not a crisis but a misunderstanding that is allowed and meant to strengthen the body.
Recalled that the association vice president, Dr Kayode Farinto had recently sent a petition to WCO Secretary General on 3rd August, 2020, listing what he described as anti trade facilitation policies of the Nigerian Customs Service and further called for the removal from office of the Controller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) for gross incompetence.
The letter which put the association on a coalition course with the Nigeria Customs Service had earned Mr Farinto a query from the the President.
In the query dated August 23, 2020, Mr Farinto was asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for writing a letter to WCO on behalf of ANLCA, without the authorisation of the President.
But the ANLCA Vice President in his response to the query dated August 27, 2020, said that he acted in the overall interest of the association and further accused the President of having compromised his position to defend the interest of the members.
This development informed observers prediction that the foremost Nigerian Customs Brokers body was set for implosion.
But those expectations were put to rest on Wednesday afternoon, with the ANLCA President and Mr Farinto, the National Secretaty, Mukaila Azeez and other national officers at the press conference assured that the executive is in intact.
The president stressed that their is no leadership crisis in the association and as a one family, they are moving forward.
He disclosed that the Vice President has apologised, saying he and the NECOM have accepted the apology.
On his part, the Vice President of the association , Dr Kayode Farinto admitted been wrong, while tendering his unreserved apology at the press conference he said that within the vocal cavity their is always a misunderstanding between the tongue and the teeth, and when they settled they don’t invite the ear to mediate.
He said : “I am not a proud person who will not say sorry when I am wrong. I have apologised to the President and NECOM, the National Executive Committee”
Dismissing a report trending on social media that members of the executive have been sacked by court judgement obtained in Lagos on August 20, 2020, the national secretary, Alhaji Mukaila stated that they were yet to be served any of such court judgement.
He however admitted of having seen the write ups on various platforms that they are to appear in court but yet to be served.
Explaining further, the association boss, Tony Iju said that the two plaintiffs, Olumide Fakanlu and John Nwagbaraocha were ineligible to sue the association because they ceased to be members of ANLCA since 2018.
Nwabunike told journalists that the duo are not financial members of the association hence ineligible to sue the association or any of the members let alone sacking the executives.
In respect to the Board of Trustees (BoT), he hinted that anyone among the board of trustees of the association parading self may henceforth likely go to jail following a court verdict.
He reiterated that the association as at today has no “Board of Trustees” except being dragged to a competent Court of Appeal.
He affirmed that : “Let me say that as at February this year, the whole board of ANLCA tenure has expired; anybody parading himself as board member is risking jail.
“As far as we are concerned board members of the Association finished their six year tenure in February 2020. If a court gives me an order to bring them back I will not say no to court. Rather what I got was even a court judgment restraining me from recognising anybody again as board members and that is the latest order from the court.
“In fact am risking jail if I should sit down with anybody called BOT members until an appeal court revised the decision” he quipped.