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Computer Village: DSS intervenes over plans to remove CAPDAN President

Computer Village: DSS intervenes over plans to remove CAPDAN President
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The Department of State Services (DSS) has waded into the crisis sparked by plans to remove the leadership of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association (CAPDAN) by Board of Trustees of the umbrella body at Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market.

Technology Times learnt that the DSS invited some members of CAPDAN for questioning at its Ikeja Office on Monday following complaints filed by Ahmed Ojikutu, the President of CAPDAN at the centre of the leadership crisis.  

CAPDAN Board of Trustees (BoT) asked Ojikutu and his executives to vacate office after he has overstayed the two-year term stipulated by the association’s constitution, a call that he has resisted.

The Trustees are insisting that the alleged MoU reached between “a few individuals and Alausa cannot be supreme over the CAPDAN Constitution.”

Technology Times file photo shows people seen buying and selling at Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market.
Technology Times file photo shows people seen buying and selling at Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market.

Rather, the CAPDAN President’s invited the DSS to step into the association’s crisis introducing a dramatic twist after he had allegedly ordered the arrest of some Trustees by the Nigeria Police. The latter insist that Ojikutu must vacate office and constitute a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the market association and also plan elections of new executives.

Ojikutu who spoke with Technology Times in a phone interview on Monday confirmed that he invited the DSS to restore peace in the market following what he claims to be the likelihood for breakdown of law and order, while also alleging that he took the step “because the BoT were exercising dictatorial tendencies.”

Ojikutu says that he called in the DSS “to arrest anarchy” alleging that the decision of the Trustees to have his executives vacate office breached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the group allegedly with the Lagos State Government.

The Trustees are insisting that the alleged MoU reached between “a few individuals and Alausa cannot be supreme over the CAPDAN Constitution.”   

Computer Village located in Ikeja, Lagos is arguably the biggest market for computers and allied tech products in Nigeria and the West African sub region.
Computer Village located in Ikeja, Lagos is arguably the biggest market for computers and allied tech products in Nigeria and the West African sub region.

People conversant with situation at the market told Technology Times confirmed that three people including two former officials of CAPDAN were among those invited for questioning last Monday by DSS following complaints filed by the embattled CAPDAN President that they were causing trouble in the market. They were left to go home after the questioning by the DSS.

Trouble started when the BoT in a letter dated July 10 this year written the Ojikutu-led executive to draw attention to the provisions of the CAPDAN Constitution stipulating a two-year tenure for the executives of the association, while bringing attention to the expiration of their term of office.

The BoT subsequently asked the executives to vacate office to pave way for the constitution of  Caretaker Committee expected to conduct fresh rounds of elections to fill the offices that will be vacated by the Ojikutu-led leadership of CAPDAN.

According to the letter jointly signed by three BoT Members, Tunji Balogun, who is also the immediate past President of CAPDAN; Tola Adegboro and Bankole Adekoya, Ojikutu and his team were told to be ready to vacate office.

The BoT also informed Ojikutu that a five-person Caretaker Committee was to be inaugurated on Friday August 4, 2018 at the CAPDAN Secretariat located within Computer Village.

“ We request for your maximum co-operation in facilitating a seamless handover process to the caretaker committee.

But the CAPDAN President is hanging on to the MoU with the Lagos State which Ojikutu claims makes for a three-year term for the executives of the association as well rotation of the office of the President among “ethnic nationalities in the market.”

Computer Village: DSS intervenes over plans to remove CAPDAN President
Technology Times File photo shows Ahmed Ojikutu, then new President of CAPDAN sharing his growth plans for the market during an exclusive interview at the Technology Times Corporate Headquarters in Lagos

“By a copy of this letter, relevant security agencies including law enforcement agencies are being notified ahead of the handover meeting to ensure a transparent process devoid of rancour and breach to the peace.”, the BoT said in the letter dated July 30 and addressed to the CAPDAN President.

But the CAPDAN President is hanging on to the MoU with the Lagos State which Ojikutu claims makes for a three-year term for the executives of the association as well rotation of the office of the President among “ethnic nationalities in the market.”

The CAPDAN President claims that the MoU in question has made for relative peace in Computer Village over the past two years on his watch over the market association.

“If the CAPDAN Constitution were to be perfect and it is followed to the letter, we would not have had the situation of the last 12 years. The situation is what has brought peace in the last two years”, Ojikutu tells Technology Times insisting that he plans to rebuff the demand of the Trustees.

Meanwhile, the Trustees insist on the supremacy of the CAPDAN Constitution and say that the Ojikutu-led executives must leave to pave way for the Caretaker Committee that will organise election of new executives.According to a letter seen by Technology Times, another group alleges that Ojikutu’s “kangaroo MoU” to rotate the leadership along ethnic nationalities represents a betrayal of the founders of the association.

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