Dr. Kayode Colin Farinto, the ANLCA acting president at the press briefing.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Acting President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Dr. Kayode Farinto has done a clear-the-air kind of press briefing about the alleged involvement of a prominent member of the Association in the act of hard drugs importation. Dr. Farinto was speaking yesterday to give light to the effort of the Association in enlightening members against any king of collaboration with importers who engage in the importation of illicit drugs.
Acting president Farinto noted that the member who got caught up in the drug importation melee only suffered what he called “Professional hazard” as he is just another freight forwarder whose trust was exploited thereby finding himself in trouble. Dr. Farinto said that he knows that Otunba Sunday Oyebola, the man charged with the drug importation allegation is not a drug trafficker, but a man who believed that his client had done an honest declaration and so was relying on the the information passed to him by the importer to get into trouble in the process of clearing the cargo where the illicit drug called ‘loud’, a psychotropic substance was found. The Acting President pointed out that the only area where Otunba Oyebola may have made mistake was in not getting his client (the importer) to sign the indemnity form recently introduced by the Association and relying only on the information that the importer provided on the bill of laden.
Mr. Babatunde Abdulaziz, ANLCA general secretary.
The national secretary of the association, Mr. Babatunde Mukaila Abdulazi also emphasised that they have been trying to educate members about the need to sign the indemnity form in order to absolve themselves of any liability in a case like this one.
It will be recalled that in the May 2022 meeting of the national executive council of the association, it was made public that an indemnity form that will serve to protect members from criminal liability if any importer is found wanting was designed and made available to members free of charge.
The national secretary also added that Otunba Oyebola is cooperating with the Nagional Drug Law Enforcement Agency and that every member is solidly behind Otunba Oyebola believing in his innocence. He refutes the allegation that Otunba Oyebola had been on the run as he had been attending meetings of the association.
The acting president also made the statement to the effect that the law says that whenever a body corporate goes against the law, the lead persons in the entity has a vicarious liability as detailed in a section of the CEMA law and this is why Otunba Oyebola is being detained as his company is the clearing agent to the importer. He continues to admonish members to always get this indemnity form which is completely free of charge signed and also to get it notarized in order to be accepted as a legal document.
Dr. Farinto also added that the association has been collaborating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the area of educating members of his Association in the legal, health and social implications of drugs importation, sale and use and that he on several occasions he had warmed that the importation of psychotropic substances may be on the increase, this concern being a fallout of the fact that certain banned drugs in Nigeria are legitimate in Canada. He said that they have written to the Canadian Embassy about their intended visit to him in order that they may find a way of educating them and therefore protecting members so that any consignment from Canada may be double checked at a small price for the presence of any banned drug and other items heading to Nigeria.
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