CRFFN: Stakeholders Advise FG Against Recalling Nwakohu, Plan Mega Protest

CRFFN: Stakeholders Advises FG Against Recalling Nwakohu, Plan Mega Protest

· How ministerial committee misled the Police to usurp powers of law court over ex-Registrar

·  “Nobody can stop me” —Nwakohu reportedly said

Following the report that the former Registrar and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN), Sam Nwakohu is surreptitiously  making plans for a recall, many influential stakeholders in the freight forwarding sector have advised the Federal Government to jettison the idea of returning a man who ‘killed’ the council and save the maritime industry the monumental protest that awaits it if Nwakohu returns.

The stakeholders, who reacted separately in response to earlier report by MMS Plus, cut across the five registered and accredited associations in the industry. They were unanimous in their position that Nwakohu’s tenure in CRFFN de-marketed the Council immensely with varied allegations of fraud, unethical practices and perpetual in-fighting between the management and the governing council and within the management team.

Recall that Nwakohu had written the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,Adegboyega Oyetola accusing the Ministry of his untimely removal from office, while seeking a recall to serve out his term of office.

Despite the widespread rejection of Nwakohu by stakeholders many of whom are former governing council members of CRFFN, the former Registrar was said to have confided in a friend that they cannot stop him from coming back to CRFFN because he has his people in the Ministry and within the Council.

His desperation to have his way albeit without recourse to due process as the Registrar created flames on enmity between the Chairmen of the Governing Council, Abubakar Tsanni  and the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, alleged to be overlooking Nwakohu’s excesses.    

Before his latest moves for re-appointment, Nwakohu had worked assiduously to secure a second term by allegedly spending lavishly in the Ministry of Transportation and presidency to the extent that he did not only win some of his opposing governing council members back to endorse him but influenced the setting up of a ministerial committee that inadvertently usurped the powers of the  Law court in adjudication of justice in allegations of criminal cases.

In a letter addressed to Nwakohu, signed by the Director of Maritime Services, Babatunde Sule, dated December 15,2022, with the title, ”Ministerial Committee for the Investigation Into Various Petitions Against the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN),” the  Committee stated: “That all the allegations by the Governing Council of CRFFN against the Registrar regarding the budgetary provision, virement and fraudulently misleading the Board are all baseless and therefore should be ignored.”

The Committee further resolved, ”That Police Report having cleared the Registrar,Bar. Samuel Nwakohu Esq. in respect of the allegation against his age, Secondary School and call to Bar Certificate, he therefore stands exonerated from the allegations levelled against him.”

 The Committee was alleged to have been influenced by the Registrar who ideally should have vacated his seat for a thorough investigation like it was done in the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) where the then Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman was directed to leave his seat for fact-finding.  Nwakohu remained on seat and allegedly dictated the run of the committee.  Why apply a different investigation method in the same Ministry for similar cases? Observers, asked.

The question also agitating the minds of many stakeholders is whether the Committee and Nigeria Police invited in the course of the sittings have the powers to absolve an accused of a perjury allegation without recourse to law court.

Perjury is said to be the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing concerning matters material to an official proceeding. 

According to Section 18 of the Nigerian Criminal Code:  ”Any person who commits perjury is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”  

Meanwhile, the new leadership of CRFFN led by the Acting Registrar/CEO, Mrs. Chinyere Uromta continued its stakeholders visit to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) earlier in the week and a meeting with the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent(ANLCA) on Wednesday in Lagos to discuss areas of common interest and draw a working relationship path.

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