Court sacks ANLCA’s Board of Trustees …As association plans fresh elections
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dissolved the Board of Trustees of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA, thus ending more than one -year rift among members over the membership and chairmanship of the ill-fated board.
The board before this judgment was made up of Henry Njoku, Ernest Elochukwu, Iju Tony Nwabunike, Aare Sanni Shittu, Taiye Oyeniyi, Dayo Abdulaziz, Taiwo Mustapha, Dennis Okafor and Peter Obi.
This is sequel to originating summons dated and filed July 27, 2018 in the suit no. FHC/L/CS1274/2018 brought before the court by Sky Sail Nigeria Limited and Chief Peter Obi as plaintiffs and in which the Registered Trustees of ANLCA, Iju Tony Nwabunike and Taiwo Mustafa were all joined as respondents/defendants.
The presiding judge, Justice R.M. Aikawa, who delivered the judgment, granted all the three reliefs sought by the plaintiffs, which includes that the purported members of the BOT of ANLCA, who allegedly changed its leadership on April 13, 2018 is illegal, null and void and of no effect.
The court also held that any replacement or appointment of additional trustee made without the consent of the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC is void.
The Honourable Justice also declared that it is only when the CAC gives its assent upon application by ANLCA that any appointment of a trustee can be valid.
Meanwhile, National President of the association, Iju Tony Nwabunike, who reacted to the judgment of the court, said that the association currently does not have a BOT and that as such; it would be illegal and therefore dangerous for anybody to parade himself as one.
Nwabunike, who spoke with select maritime media alongside the Vice President, Dr. Kayode Farinto and National Secretary of the association, Mukaila Abdulazeez, Wednesday in Lagos, noted that the proper thing for anyone to do is to challenge the judgment in a higher court; the Court of Appeal in the current instance to vacate the judgment.
“As at today, ANLCA has no Board of Trustees going by the court judgment except a higher court, the Court of Appeal in this case reverses the judgment.
“Let me also say here that the tenure of the BOT of ANLCA expired in February this year, so anybody parading himself as board member risks being committed to prison.
“As far as we are concerned the board members of the association completed their six- year tenure in February 2020. If a court gives me an order to bring them back I will not say no to the 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 I risk jail if I should sit with anybody called BOT members until an Appeal Court reverses the decision of the lower court”, the President said emphatically.
He however disclosed that the association is working towards putting measures in place that would culminate in the election of new BOT members to forestall any vacuum, adding that the sacked members are also eligible to contest.
It was gathered that the association is concluding plans to hold its annual general meeting, which will be virtual, given the coronavirus protocol on physical distancing, which will be preceded by the BOT elections.