A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled ‘Missed opportunity: The unfortunate story of AFMPN’ (Association of Facilities Management Practitioners, Nigeria). In that article, I stated that the association had been dissolved by companies and allied commission (CAC) based on its failure to respond to a request for explanation on allegations levelled against it.
The regulatory body (CAC) had, in a letter dated 1st of March, 2023 and addressed to the Chairman, Board of Trustees, requested the association to respond to the issues raised in a petition submitted against it. It further stated “the company shall be deemed dissolved on the expiration of 3 months with effect from February 20, 2023.
As expected, the reaction from the leadership was to go on a ferocious and malicious attack with statements claiming the letter was not from CAC, effectively declaring the letter a forged document. Furthermore, my lawyer who is duly qualified to practice law in Nigeria and a licensed member of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) was equally vilified with the statement “so, your lawyer has been tagged already as a quack. I’m sure you know the implication of this.” It was the height of rascality
The amazing part of the saga is that, to date, no official or formal explanation has been rendered in any form despite very serious allegations levelled against the leadership of the association. There is no confirmation, at the time of this writing, whether or not CAC received such explanation.
To display their ignorance and utter disregard for the rule of law, the leadership decided to terminate my membership of the association on the grounds that I wrote a petition against the association and for working against the interest of the association.
My offence, therefore, was that I showed boldness and courage to challenge the obvious gross violations of the constitution of the association that was submitted to CAC as part of the requirements necessary for the registration process to be complete. This unlawful act runs contrary to one of the cardinal rules of natural justice that no one should act as a judge in his own case – nemo judex in causa sua.
The irony of this sad story is that the same people who recklessly and unabatedly violated the provisions of the AFMPN constitution now find the same constitution a useful tool to rely on for the purpose of perpetuating an illegality. Rather than deal with the substance of the allegations in the petition, every effort has been made to discredit me as the petitioner, hoping the intimidation and bullying would deter me from pursuing the matter further.
In the light of membership termination, a request, by my lawyer, for an unedited copy of the recording of the purported investigative panel hearing has so far been ignored. The point to note here is their desperation to avoid consequences for their lack of accountability and transparency which informed the decision to write a petition in the first place.
Allegations contained in the petition are weighty and cannot be ignored by CAC. In particular, the audited accounts ought to be independently scrutinized as there are reasonable grounds to question the true position of the financial records.
It was discovered recently that, at least, one trustee remains in office despite having relocated abroad in gross violation of the constitution which is clear that a trustee shall cease to hold such office if he or she lives abroad.
The question to ask is how did we set the standard so low to allow such level of impunity to reign?