Controversies have trailed the race for the next president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), an organization that provides professional training and regulates the practice and business of transport, logistics, and supply chain.
Mrs. Ufom Usoro, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is a major contender for the coveted position of CILT President.
Some members of the institute in separate interviews have, however, decried controversies surrounding its 2021 national council election scheduled for October 23.
Mr. Alban Igwe, a presidential hopeful has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to nullify Usoro’s candidature in the election.
In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1217/2021, filed on Oct. 12, 2021, Igwe and co-plaintiff Alex Okosun accused outgoing leaders of the institute of plotting to manipulate the electoral process in Usoro’s favor, arguing that she did not qualify to contest.
In a twist of events, Igwe, a lawyer, withdrew from the race, with the matter still unvacated, saying he noticed that the race was becoming more political than professional.
When contacted, he said, “I pulled out from the race, sacrificing my ambition for the peace and sanity of the institute when I noticed unprofessional political undertones and I believe that having stepped aside, the court case will be vacated in due course.”
Speaking also, Mr. Igna Owums, another presidential candidate, expressed confidence that “the controversies surrounding Usoro’s candidature will be effectively addressed by the electoral committee”.
The National Executive Director of the CILT, Mr. Paul Ndibe said that the institute had yet to be notified of the suit and called on its members to maintain a positive disposition
“CILT is not perfect and matters such as this help an organization to identify its loopholes, highlight weaknesses, reposition itself and become more vibrant so I see this as a building block for a more virile national institute.
“We have an electoral committee that has guidelines for the election and having screened all the candidates and approved their candidature, it behooves on members to align with the recommendations of the committee”, he said.
Chairperson of the electoral committee, Hajiya Moji Ajimoh, however, confirmed that Igwe had stepped down from the race, indicating that the court case would soon be vacated for the election to hold as scheduled.
When contacted, Usoro who appeared unperturbed about the situation, declined to comment.
Recall that the body was founded in the United Kingdom in 1919, with Nigeria established as territorial headquarters in Africa in 1958, under the Royal Charter of the Queen of England.