The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has announced that it has commenced the process of arbitration as part of steps to resolve the leadership crisis that has engulfed the association.
At the National Executive Committee (NECOM) meeting which held in Lagos last week, the association also said that it is ready to comply with all court injunctions that have risen as a result of the crisis which was caused mainly by the factionalisation in its Board of Trustees (BOT).
Speaking after the meeting, its Vice President, Dr. Kayode Farinto said that already a faction of the BOT has appointed an arbitrator and the NECOM has equally appointed its own arbitrator; Barr Valentino Buoro.
Farinto said the two arbitrators would sit and come up with who would be the chairman of arbitration panel.
He however said it is a misnomer for the BOT to appoint an arbitrator, according to him, "they are not the aggrieved party, but because we don't want them to see us like we don't want peace to reign or being rigid, we also have an arbitrator that we have spoken to, Barr Valentino Buoro, we invited him to meet with their own arbitrator"
"However we are at a cross road because our board is factionalised, the other faction of the board has sent us a letter that faction ‘A’ cannot appoint an arbitrator"
"What the Judge has said however is that since the arbitrators have met, the process of arbitration should continue, so I am telling you now that the process of arbitration has commenced".
Buttressing what the ANLCA Vice President said, its National Secretary, Babatunde Mukaila noted that Section 26, subsection 4 of ANLCA constitution says that part of the function of the BOT is to activate arbitration panel if any member of ANLCA is aggrieved.
He said ANLCA has directed and advised that every party should go to the court of arbitration in Lagos State where the Chairman would be nominated, he said by so doing it would be seen to have gone through a due process.
"There is no way we can activate arbitration because the aggrieved man decided to meet with a faction of the board, so in order to cut the schism, we decided that the best approach is to go to an institution for an institutionalised arbitration"
"The arbitration must be within the Lagos court of arbitration because we have taken the issue so far into the court of law, and if we are discussing what the court wants us to do, then we must go through an institutionalised process"
"However, the aggrieved man’s arbitrator believes that institutionalized arbitration is too expensive and that it should be an ad hoc arrangement"
"It’s an expensive process, We don't want a situation where somebody would rise up tomorrow and rubbish what we have done because it is only one faction of the board that activated arbitration" he explained.