The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has accused some men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), of aiding some disgruntled and expelled members of the association in the invasion of its national secretariat in Lagos.
The association alleged that the Police from Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos, the Area ‘E’, Police Command, Festac, and the Festac Police Division, Lagos, were privy to and aided the invasion which took place last Wednesday.
The association also said they were investigating the matter and will petition the Inspector General of Police, saying it’s a shame and unbecoming that the Police should involve itself in a matter that is already in the court.
It further alleged that this is the second time, the Police from Zone 2 carried out alleged illegal sealing up of the ANLCA’s National Secretariat, which is located at Amuwo Odofin axis of Lagos State, without a valid court order or availing the other party any right to state their side of the story, while matters are in court.
Reacting to the recent attack, the association said this was the second time in less than eight months by alleged hoodlums led by expelled members of the company of some Policemen. Members said they would no longer allow unprovoked victimisation by the NPF and other disgruntled elements trying to frustrate the association.
Dr. Kayode Farinto, National Vice President of ANLCA, told Saturday INDEPENDENT that the police goofed for not carrying out due investigation before being used to carry out the illegal act on the ANLCA national secretariat.
Speaking earlier, the National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila did not say the attack on the ANLCA national secretariat was carried out without any court bailiff, nor any notice from the police, noting that the sealing of the secretariat was illegal.
He added that the attack was carried out while some members of the NECOM of the association were at the National Assembly at the invitation of Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Customs & Excise Hon. Leke Abejide, to speak on the new CBN policy on e-invoicing.
According to the ANLCA scribe, the hoodlums were allegedly led by the expelled and court-sacked self-acclaimed board chairman, Taiwo Mustapha, with the help of the police.
Mukaila explained that the Police were deceived with a court order obtained in 2019, which purportedly attempted to unseat the Tony Iju- led present NECOM.
He however said the order was challenged in court after 14 days, stating that the case is in court and as such cannot be used as a ground to seal up the secretariat.
Mukaila further informed that the hoodlums burgled the gate and beat up members of staff they met at the secretariat, including Corp members that were serving their father’s land in the respective departments at the ANLCA secretariat.
He alleged that they were beaten with canes and the tyres of packed vehicles in the premises were deflated and damaged while the Police watched.
“We were told they came with three policemen from Festac Division and a multitude of hoodlums who came with daggers and all sort, they cut off the padlocks, destroy the main car entrance gate, went into the main entrance destroy whatever they can destroy and deflated all the car tyres and beat up all the people they met including the Youth Corpers.
“The end result was what everyone now knows that Taiwo Mustapha led the gang that purportedly took over the secretariat without any warrant from the police or court.
“And I want to state that there is no court bailiff present in that premises because if any court is coming to enforce any judgment with the police, the bailiff of the court ought to be there.
“After that, they left and positioned those three Policemen and truckloads of soldiers there. On our arrival from Abuja at about 8.00 pm, we (I and VP) move straight to the Area Command of Festac unfortunately the Area Commander has closed, but we met some officers who were able to give us hint that the court order that was gotten in August 2019 purportedly trying to unseat the Tony Iju present NECOM that was challenged in court after 14 days and the case is in court is the same order Mustapha purportedly presented to the Inspector General of Police as being valid and that the order is still enforce
“So the IG ordered the AIG Zone 2, the AIG then ordered the Area Commander Festac Division, the Area Commander then ordered the DPO to enforce that order. But today we’ve been with the Area Commander and the DPO to prove our case that the order is a spent order, so it is not supposed to be in the interest of the Police without inviting the other party.
“The interesting truth about the order is that the plaintiff, Obokun Freight Forwarder told their counsel that they aren’t interested in the case anymore rather they want out of court settlement.
“We have the certified true copy of that proceeding of the court where their lawyers pronounce that they want out of court settlement and that the judge is giving us four weeks to seat together. And as we speak Friday was supposed to be the meeting with the counsel for the reconciliation as agreed.
“And a man who is not a party to the suit led thugs to the secretariat to beat up NYSC Corpers and women with a cane and I have presented the case at the DPO office in Festac.
“The parents of the Corpers they beat will report to the police station Friday so that Mustapha can give reasons what the offense of those children before they were beaten up,” he questioned.