Lagos Police chief reinstates CAPDAN President removed by Trustees

Lagos Police chief reinstates CAPDAN President removed by Trustees

Lagos Police chief reinstates CAPDAN President removed by Trustees

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Edgal Imohinmi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police has intervened to restore Ahmed Ojikutu, President of Computers and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), who was removed by Trustees of the umbrella association of Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market based in Lagos.

Trustees of CAPDAN said they have removed the CAPDAN President and his executive team citing alleged tenure extension beyond the two-year term stipulated in the Constitution of the market association.

But the Lagos State Police Commissioner who intervened in the crisis sparked between the two camps over Ojikutu’s removal says the CAPDAN President should be allowed to complete a three-year term, in line with a Memorandum of Association (MoU) said to have been signed with the Lagos State Government.

Ojikutu had earlier told Technology Times in the wake of the crisis that the MoU, which sets aside the provisions of the association’s Constitution on tenure, was endorsed to allow for a three-year term, rotations among ethnic nationalities that make up Computer Village, among others.

But the Lagos State Police Commissioner who intervened in the crisis sparked between the two camps over Ojikutu’s removal says the CAPDAN President should be allowed to complete a three-year term, in line with a Memorandum of Association (MoU) said to have been signed with the Lagos State Government.

Edgal Imohinmi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, seen on the left in photo with Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, has ordered the reinstatement of the CAPDAN President in his intervention in the leadership crisis at the largest technology market in Nigeria located in Ikeja, Lagos.
Edgal Imohinmi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, seen on the left in photo with Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, has ordered the reinstatement of the CAPDAN President in his intervention in the leadership crisis at the largest technology market in Nigeria located in Ikeja, Lagos.

The Lagos State Police boss who met with the feuding parties last Friday directed that Ojikutu be reinstated as CAPDAN President.

Following the lifeline from the Lagos Police chief, Ojikutu has says he will continue to be a leader for all members in a call for unity after he was restored as President of the umbrella body of Nigeria’s largest technology market for the next one year.

Ojikutu who spoke exclusively with Technology Times on Monday at CAPDAN Secretariat after being restored back as President says his focus is to make computer village the biggest ICT hub in Africa, and ultimately make it the rally point of Africa technology solutions.

Trouble started when CAPDAN Board of Trustee (BoT) in a letter dated July 10 this year wrote to the Ojikutu-led executive to draw attention to provisions of CAPDAN Constitution stipulating a two-year tenure for the executives of the association, while also notifying them of 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.

The two parties however resulted to resolve the crisis at the office of the commissioner of police following two petitions filed by both parties.

The Trustees had insisted that the said MoU was reached between “a few individuals and Alausa cannot be supreme over the CAPDAN Constitution.”  

Photo obtained by Technology Times shows Mr Tola Adegboro, Acting Chairman of CAPDAN Board of Trustees, reading names of new Caretaker Committee at the prior takeover by the Trustees that was aborted by the Police chief’s order. Standing next to him is Mr Tunji Balogun, another BoT member.

The meeting at the Commissioner’s office was full of drama as members of Ojikutu-led faction and the Caretaker Committee were fully in attendance as early as 11.00 am. They were there for the pronouncement of the Lagos Police chief that intervened in the crisis that had rendered CAPDAN Secretariat’s located inside the market non-operational in the wake of the Trustees’ order removing Ojikutu.

Ojikutu in his letter to Police Commissioner alleged that the decision of the Trustees to have his executives vacate office breached the MoU the group allegedly with the Lagos State Government.

The Trustees had insisted that the said MoU was reached between “a few individuals and Alausa cannot be supreme over the CAPDAN Constitution.”

After waiting for several hours, the Commissioner of Police arrived the conference hall and after listening to both parties, he said that Ojikutu should be allowed to complete his three-year term as signed in the MoU.

Ojikutu further said that “there is a provision in our constitution that state that before any BoT meeting can stand, the President of the association or any member of the executive must be in attendance. When the BoT met, I was not present, neither was any of my executives. So, if they want to go by the constitution, that makes the document sent to us was against the constitution.”

Ahmed Ojikutu,new president of CAPDAN seen in photo, speaks at an exclusive interview at Technology Times office in Lagos
Technology Times file photo shows Ahmed Ojikutu, then new President of CAPDAN seen in photo, speaking at an exclusive interview at Technology Times Corporate office in Lagos

After the decision of the Commissioner, a more relaxed Ojikutu appealed to all aggrieved members to set aside their prejudices and strengthen the bonds of friendship and unity in order to keep the association united.

”I must say God does not judge our actions but intentions. My intention for running CAPDAN presidency is basically not because of myself, but I believe there must be an egalitarian association that gives everybody the opportunity to develop”, Ojikutu later told Technology Times in an interview at the CAPDAN Secretariat which was reopened Monday morning for the day-to-day running of the association.

According to the CAPDAN President, “the point is that there is a constitutional vacuum. That is to say we have a constitution before now for 12 years, because the last administration spent 12 years and between then and now, we had an eight-year crisis in which we went to Lagos state Government that there should be an election for us as association and we had an agreement that there should be a rotational presidency and a single term of three years. After that has been done, everybody was happy. Suddenly, two years down the line, we saw a letter from the BoT stating that we should wind down our tenure.’’

Ojikutu further said that “there is a provision in our constitution that state that before any BoT meeting can stand, the President of the association or any member of the executive must be in attendance. When the BoT met, I was not present, neither was any of my executives. So, if they want to go by the constitution, that makes the document sent to us was against the constitution.”

For the CAPDAN President, “if we look at it in real term, the BoT has no power to sack the executive. But I am a well-cultured person. I had to go and plead with them but to my surprise as I was pleading with them, the BoT was bent on forcing their way. But thank God the CP has intervened and that has restored peace in the market.”

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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027

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