Top leaders of the Okpe nation on Sunday described a group led by a Delta State University lecturer, Prof Emurobome Idolor as ‘’impostor’’
‘’This imposter group is said to be claiming leadership of the organisation on the basis of a publication signed by HRM, Orhue l, Orodje of Okpe, purporting to dissolve the elected National Executive Council of the Okpe Union and imposing the said Interim Executive comprising persons unknown to the various branches of the Okpe Union’’.
They also urged the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission to reject applications from the Prof. Emurobome Idolor Imposter group or any other not authorised by the elected National Executive Council of the Okpe Union.
‘’The Commission should investigate this matter dispassionately and take notice of the fact that the address of the elected National Executive Council is also the registered office of the Okpe Union with the Commission.
“The fact that the election of the current National Executive Council like the others before it took place at the Hall of the registered office of the Union on the 15th of May, 2021 is also strong evidence of who the genuine representatives of the Okpe Union are.’’
In a statement titled Prof. Natufe led NEC of the Okpe Union is the only authorised body to relate with the CAC and any other organisation in respect of the Okpe Union, the notable leaders said the self-styled Interim National Executive Council members led by Prof. Emurobome Idolor not only sent a list of persons to the Corporate Affairs Commission but applied to the Commission to register them as Trustees of the Okpe Union.
The statement signed by Okpe Union President General, Prof. Igho Natufe and General Secretary, Barrister Akpederin Kingsley alleged dealing by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with some persons led by one Prof. Emurobome Idolor who are unknown to and never authorised by the Okpe Union in respect of the regularisation process of the Board of Trustees of the Okpe Union.
‘’The Okpe Union was founded in 1930 and registered with the Nigerian Colonial Government on the 13th of December, 1934 under the Lands(Perpetual Succession) Ordinance of 1924 with its constitution as a dues-paying members-only organisation. Its Registered Office from the current records of the Corporate Affairs Commission is No. 67, (now No. 65), Moshalashi Street, Ikoyi, Lagos’’
The leaders threw light on the union’s election process. ‘’The Okpe Union has had an unbroken chain of democratic transition of leadership from its inception and registration in 1930 and 1934 respectively.
“Delegates from the branches of the organisation assemble in a National Conference/General Meeting at the expiration of the tenure of an outgoing National Executive Council of the Okpe Union and elect a successor National Executive Council’’.
The leaders disputed the position of Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom. ‘’That the action of the Traditional Ruler, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe (who is neither a member of the Okpe Union nor given any administrative powers by the Constitution of the Okpe Union), on the 3rd of October, 2020, which purported to dissolve the elected National Executive Council and impose strangers on the Okpe Union as its Interim National Executive Council is not only unprecedented, but also contrary to the provisions of the Union Constitution, inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria especially the sections which guarantee freedom of association, and it is also a gross violation of various corporate governance laws of Nigeria’’.
The leaders explained that the previously registered trustees of the Okpe Union had all passed on.
‘’The elected National Executive Council had begun the process of regularising the status of the Union with the Corporate Affairs Commission by requesting the Commission to furnish the Union with its indebtedness for failure to file returns and penalties for some years as well as applying to the Federal High Court, Lagos for an order to appoint trustees to replace the former ones who have all died which ruling is due in a few weeks’’.
They further said ‘’On the 4th of June, 2021, the elected National Executive Council of the Okpe Union led by Prof Igho Natufe wrote to the Registrar General of the Commission (which was received by the Commission on the 7th of June, 2021) to complain about the moves of the said imposter group to which the Commission has not responded.
“We were therefore shocked to discover that the group has submitted a list of proposed trustees for the Okpe Union which the Union knows nothing about and which is a clear breach of the Union’s constitution and the country’s extant laws and rules of the Commission’’.
The leaders tied their point to the corporate governance laws of the Federation of Nigeria as well as the various regulations of the Corporate Affairs Commission relating to the administration of the non-governmental organisations, especially registered trustees.
‘’No non-members or persons unauthorised by the organisation ought to be recognised as representatives of that organization.’’