CONSTITUTION OF THE OGBONA ELITES FORUM
Article 1: Name, Logo, Aims and objectives
SECTION 1: NAME
The name of this organization shall be OGBONA ELITES FORUM (hereinafter referred to as the “OEF”). This shall be the umbrella body for:
- Ogbona Elites Forum on WhatsApp,
- Ogbona Political Elites Forum on WhatsApp,
- I’m an Indigene of Ogbona Group on Facebook,
- The Ogbona Elites Website, (ogbonaelites.org and
- Any other forum or platform that maybe established by the OEF for the purpose of achieving its objectives.
SECTION 2: LOGO
The OEF shall have a logo depicting the social-cultural values it represents.
SECTION 3: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of the forum are as follows:
- To unite all elites of Ogbona extraction across the world, irrespective of gender, political and religious beliefs or affiliations or economic status, etc.
- To cross fertilize ideas that could foster the development of Ogbona.
- To support and defend the common cause of Ogbona and of one another.
- To showcase Ogbona cultural heritage.
- To serve as resource centre on Ogbona customary law, culture and traditions.
- To preserve, by relevant means, the historical heritage of Ogbona community and celebrate, and when necessary, reward those that have contributed to the growth and development of the historical and modern Ogbona community.
- While restraining itself from partisan politics, to act as a pressure group and mobilise support for and in favour of any Ogbona indigene who is contesting for a political position against an outsider and maintain a neutral status where such a political contest involves two or more Ogbona indigenes.
- Organization of events and forums for:
- The generation of positive ideas for the development of our community.
- Formulate action plans responsible for the development of the community.
- The mobilization of necessary human and material resources.
- The maintenance of peace and security in our community.
- Implement approved projects and community projects.
- Career talks and planning for our youth in schools.
9. To acquire both moveable and immovable property as well as open and run bank accounts for the purpose of promoting the above stated aims and objectives.
ARTICLE 2: CHARTER AND AFFILIATIONS
This organization shall maintain a charter in the state as a non-political, non-religious and non-profit socio-cultural organization.
OEF may, in line with its bye-laws and/or Constitution, work in collaboration with other persons or groups of persons in Ogbona for the purpose of achieving its aims and objectives
ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP, DUTIES, OBLIGATIONS, RESPONSIBLILITES AND BENEFITS
SECTION 5: MEMBERSHIP
- Membership of Ogbona Elites Forum shall be open to all indigenes of Ogbona, irrespective of gender.
- Such members must be gainfully employed and must not be students of secondary schools or undergraduates of polytechnics or universities.
- Postgraduate students who meets all the other criteria of membership contained in this constitution shall be eligible as members.
- Membership of Ogbona Elites Forum shall be open to spouses of Ogbona indigenes, provided that such spouses identify with, and are integrated into mainstream Ogbona, regardless of place of residence.
- Membership of “I’m an Indigene of Ogbona” Group on Facebook shall be open to all indigenes of Ogbona and to spouses of Ogbona indigenes, irrespective of gender or place of residence, including students and unemployed
SECTION 6: DUTIES, OBLIGATIONS & RESPONSIBLILITES OF MEMBERS
- All members shall uphold the ideals of the OEF at all times they shall uphold the values of Ogbona community and regard themselves and act as worthy ambassadors of Ogbona.
- Members are expected to observe the laws of the OEF at all times.
- Members are expected to contribute positively to matters relating to the entire Ogbona
- All members shall pay the prescribed annual contributions; levies and/or dues, voluntary donations only to the designated accounts of the OEF, to enable the organisation carry out its objectives effectively.
- Members are obliged to report incidents or matters that affect Ogbona community to the OEF through any of the platforms established for communication amongst
- Members shall ensure that they provide accurate information required to prepare and/or update the Register of Members from time to time.
- All members shall be entitled to a free electronic copy of the Constitution provided they are in a good financial standing.
- Members shall treat each other with mutual respect both in conduct and in words. The use of derogatory languagen a member by another shall attract severe penalty in accordance with this constitution.
- Members are required to pay all dues as may be specified by the Board of Administrators.
- Non-payment of dues by a member shall be considered equivalent to resignation. Such member’s name shall be deleted from the register of members, and cease to enjoy any membership benefits including but not limited to the right to vote and be voted for, unless extenuating circumstances are given or made known by such a member and accepted by the Board of Administrators.
- Membership is terminated if a member resigns by written notice to the Forum.However, if a member under investigation by the Forum resigns his/her membership prior to the conclusion of investigation, he/she stands expelled without prejudice to the Forum’s disciplinary procedure and shall not be readmitted;
- Should any member fail to pay his or her subscription as stated in this Article (9) above, the Treasurer shall report accordingly to the EXCO who may cause the member’s name to be erased from the list of members by their order and there upon he or she ceases to be a member of the Forum.
- Any member entrusted with the property of the organisation shall handle such property with diligence and apply same solely for the purpose for which such property was entrusted in their care.
SECTION 7: MEMBERS’ ENTITLEMENTS AND PRIVILEDGES
- Subject to the provisions of this Constitution or as determined by the EBA, every member shall be entitled to vote and be voted for during the election. Members shall be eligible to use any of the platforms of the organisation, be it social media, library and resourceentres and participations in the forum’s activities.
- Members can advertise their trade or company on the Forum’s platforms and functions at a minimum charge as determine from time to time.
- Any other benefit may be determined from time to time by the EBA.
ARTICLE 4: CODE OF CONDUCT
SECTION 8: GENERAL
This platform reflects our brand – what we stand for. We owe it as a duty to ourselves to keep the highest behavioural standards in our social media platforms and at all times. This is without prejudice to the right of individual members exchanging views and materials between themselves on social media platforms other than those of the Forum.
- Every member is expected to behave in the best interest of the Forum and give the Forum the deserving commitment and loyalty.
- The Forum shall reserve the right to take appropriate disciplinary measures against erring members.
- Members shall be law- abiding citizens, protect and pursue the Aims and Objectives of the Forum.
- The Forum is a non-politicald non-religious body and hence members should refrain from posting or engaging in overly religious activities that will offend the sensibilities and belief of other members.
- It is the duty of a member to ensure veracity of whatever post or information he/she sends out to the group.
- Members must refrain from posting graphic/gory images and videos, sensational stories, pornographic images and video, lewd jokes, similar communication, etc. on any of the Forum’s
- Members must refrain from posting political statements and/or unsubstantiated statements credited to political figures or statements that appear to attack or denigrate the integrity of either members of the organisation or members of the public.
- Members must refrain from using the forum to propagate their religion.
- Members should refrain from duplicating their posts on all the forums’ platforms. Posts should be made on the appropriate platform.
ARTICLE 5: MODE OF OPERATION
SECTION 9: SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
It is anticipated that most of THE Forum’s discussions and meetings would be through the social media (WhatsApp & Facebook). The following shall be the Forum’s operating guidelines:
- Members should confirm the validity of any information they wish to share before posting the same on any of the Forum’s platforms to avoid posting spam messages, fake news and wrong information.
- Members must not carry out personal discussions on the Forum’s platforms.
- Members are enjoined to post only useful news. Refrain from sending morning, afternoon, evening or night greetings in a group.
- Posts, videos, pictures, etc., should be given adequate consideration before being made public on any of The Forum’s media.
- Members shall refrain from posting messages which directly or indirectly offend other members’ gender, religion or tribe.
- Members are encouraged to be active participants in the group.
- Ogbona Elites Forum (OEF) social media platforms and Website Administrators shall be:
- The President, Vice President and Secretary General, provided that the EXCO may in its own discretion replace any of these officers with another member of the forum.
- The said Administratorsof the forum’s platforms shall approve members’ postings and/or publications on the Forum’s platforms.
- An Administrator can be removed by the EXCO, if he/she is found to be ineffective on not diligent in the performance of his/her duties.
ARTICLE 6: ELECTIONS, ELIGIBILITY AND VOTING
SECTION 10: ELECTIONS
- Election into the Forum’s executive shall take place every four (4) years, subject to the provisions of this constitution.
- In the event of a vacancy in any elected office ( as defined in the constitution), the Board of Trustees shall appoint an interim committee to conduct, an election to fill such vacant position within thirty days of the occurrence of the vacancy. Anyone elected to fill such a vacant position shall only serve the unexpired period of the tenure of the officer he was elected to replace.
- Elections shall be conducted to fill vacant positions, whether due to the expiration of the tenure or resignation/removal of the occupant of that position.
- Elections shall be by means of secret ballot.
- The Electoral Committee shall be constituted by the General Meeting not less than three months before the election.
- The Electoral Committee shall determine the period of campaign, publish the positions to be filled and determine any other procedure that is not expressly provided for in this Constitution.
- The Electoral Committee shall publish the names of all those cleared to contest an election as well as the positions they are contesting for at least twenty one days before the date fixed for the election.
- The Electoral Committee shall attend to any post election grievance within 14 days of the election.
SECTION 11: ELIGIBILITY
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every member shall be eligible to stand for an election or vote in an election into any of the positions of the Forum provided that:
- Such member is a financial member for a period not less than two years preceding the election.
- Such a member shall not be less than thirty five (35) years of age at the time of the election.
- Such member has discharged all his /her financial obligation to the Forum.
- Such a member has not been indicted by the disciplinary committee of the Forum in at last six months preceding the election.
- Such a member is not a member of the Electoral Committee.
SECTIION 12: VOTING
- Voting in the Forum’s election shall be determined by a simple majority except where otherwise stated in this Constitution.
- Voting shall not be done by proxy.
- The responsibility of conducting election through electronic voting shall rest with the Electoral Committee.
- The election result of the election shall be declared immediately after the election.
- All elections shall be conducted at the general meeting of the forum, except where an election is required to fill a vacancy by virtue of resignation, demise or incapacitation of an office holder.
- Any aggrieved person in an election shall be entitled to challenge the result of the election within seven days of the election, provided he/she was a candidate in the election.
- The Electoral Committee shall, within seven days of receiving a complaint in any election, investigate and take appropriate actions in respect of the complaint.
ARTICLE 7: FUNDING, ACCOUNTING, SIGNATORIES & SEAL
Section 13: FUNDING
- The forum shall raise funds through the following means:
- Annual membership dues.
- Voluntary donations from members and corporate bodies.
- Sales of souvenir items, memorabilia, etc.
- Fines, levies and penalties paid by erring members.
- Project based funding as approved by the Forum
The annual subscription of the Forum shall be a minimum N36, 000.00 only or as determined from time to time by the Board of Administrators. The Annual Subscription shall be paid within the first quarter of each year by each member of the Forum into the Forum’s bank account. Any member who fails or refuses to pay up within the stipulated period shall, after a grace period of one month, be liable to a monthly default charge of 10% of the outstanding sum owed until full payment is made. Any member who is indebted to the Forum at the end of its financial year shall automatically loose his/her membership and shall not be relisted as member unless such a member pay clears up her indebtedness.
SECTION 14: ACCOUNTING
- All subscriptions paid shall be the property of the Forum and shall be deposited in the Forum’s Bank account.
- The Forum’s Bank account shall be a current account operated with a commercial bank in Nigeria.
- The Forum’s account shall be published half yearly and reviewed during the Forum’s Annual General Meeting.
- The account shall be domiciled in a bank to be approved by the EXCO
- The Forum’s account shall be audited yearly during the Annual General Meeting.
- The forum shall nominate the Audit team or hire an independent firm as it may consider
- The auditors’ report shall be submitted for review during the Annual General Meeting.
- Any misappropriation shall be referred to the disciplinary committee.
- Before any money is withdrawn from the bank, expenditure vouchers shall be raised by the Treasurer and duly approved by the EBA and signed accordingly in line with Section 15 below
The only OEF members authorized to use their signature for the Forum’s for business are as follows (except as otherwise provided in this in this Constitution)
- Cheques drawn upon the funds of the OEF shall require the signature of the Treasurer or President or Vice Presidents subject to the following requirements:
- Any document committing OEF to a plan of action requires two signatures, a member of OEF with temporary authorization of The Board of Trustees and The President or Vice President.
- Withdrawal of any other OEF funds from repository shall require only one (1) signature: Treasurer or President or Vice President and having met the internal mechanism for fund withdrawal.
- Signatories of Cheques or documents of OEF members shall not be related by marriage, blood or cohabitation.
SECTION 16: SEAL.
The organization shall own a seal which shall be kept with the President, to be used as required.
ARTICLE 8: ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE
SECTION 17: EXECUTIVE ORGAN
- The Executive Organ (or the EXCO) shall comprise of all elected officials of the Forum. They shall be known as the administrative organ. Its tenure shall be for four years and its membership shall consist of the following duly elected officers:
- Vice President,
- Secretary -General,
- Assistant Secretary -General,
- Financial Secretary,
- Public Relations Officer (P.R.O),
- Provost, and
- Legal Adviser/Officer
- Welfare/Social Services Officer,
- Assistant Treasurer
- Assistant Public Relation Officer
SECTIONS 18: EXECUTIVE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS (EBA)
- There shall be an Executive Board of Administrators consisting of:
- All duly elected officers
- Chairmen and chairpersons of all standing committees and other appointed committees chairpersons and the immediate Past President.
- The EBA shall be the highest administrative organ of the Forum subject only to the General Meeting.
- The EBA shall be presided over by the President. Its authority and directives shall be supreme and binding in all matters and circumstances subject only to review by the General Meeting.
- The EBA shall hold regular meeting at the instance of the President.
SECTION 19: FUNCTIONS OF THE EBA
The EBA shall:
- Be responsible for major policy decisions, review general administration, management and finances of the Forum.
- Review disciplinary sanctions imposed on any member(s) of the forum.
- Shall disburse funds from the Forum’s account for viable Projects as approved by the Forum.
- Shall be empowered to take disciplinary action against any member if such member’s actions are adjudged to be contrary to the aims and objectives of this Forum.
- Shall review and approve Projects before they are executed.
- All such matters not herein specified to be within the administrative competence of any organ created by this constitution shall be vested in the EBA.
- Shall review and recommend new membership dues periodically.
SECTION 20: BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board of Trustees shall consist of seven members appointed to serve for a period of four years, subject to a re-appointment, provided no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms of four years as a member of the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees shall:
- Be the highest advisory and supervising organ of the EBA
- Keep records of The Forum’s yearly activities. These records will be forwarded to the incoming Board of Trustees at the August Board of Trustees meeting.
- Any member of the Board of Trustees can be removed from the board by a resolution of the EBA if it is determined that his activities, words and conduct is undeserving of a member of the Board of Trustees provided that no such member of the Board of Trustees shall be removed from office unless he/her is given a fair hearing.
- A resolution to remove a member from board may only be passed if:
- The member has been given at least fourteen days’ notice in writing of the meeting of the EBA at which the resolution will be proposed and the reasons why it is being proposed;
- The member has been allowed to make representations to the meeting within 7 of the receipt of the notice of removal;
- Ratified by one-third (1/3) majority of members.
ARTICLE 9: DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
SECTION 21: THE PRESIDENT:
- The President shall be the Chief Executive/Administrative Head of the Forum.
- He or she shall preside on all matters and shall oversee the management of the Forum and its Officers.
- The president shall preside over all general meetings, Board of Administrators meetings at which he is present.
- The President shall exercise general supervision over the affairs and activities of the organization and shall serve as ex- officio member of all committees.
- In addition, The President appoint all committee chairpersons, subject to the approval of the Board of Administrators
- He or she shall serve in any other capacity as required elsewhere in the Constitution and By-Laws.
SECTION 22: THE VICE PRESIDENT:
The Vice President shall:
- assist the President in the discharge of his duties and shall deputize or act as President in the absence of the substantive President.
- be entitled to exercise any or all the inherent powers of the President in his capacity as acting president during the absence of the president.
- Carry out any further duties or duties as may be assigned to him by the president from time to time.
SECTION 23: SECRETARY-GENERAL:
- The Secretary General is the administrative head of the Forum.
- He shall take and keep minutes of meetings in duplicates of Board of Trustees, The Board of Administrators and General Meetings of OEF. These minutes, upon being read over and corrected at subsequent meetings of the organs of the Forum concerned shall be deemed to be the accurate records of the Forum.
- He shall maintain and keep all administrative records of the Forum
- He shall be responsible for the dispatch and receipt of correspondence on behalf of the Forum.
- The Secretary General shall maintain a current membership list and all other records as directed by the Board of Trustees.
- He or she shall, in consultation with the President, convene all meetings of the organs of the organs of the Forum for which he is the secretary.
- He shall also perform other functions as would be assigned to him by the President/ EBA
SECTION 24: ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL
- The Assistant General Secretary is expected to be directly involved in the performance of the duties allocated to his/her office.
- On behalf of the General Secretary, to exercise the General Secretary’s powers in relation to the office of the Secretary-General whenever the Secretary-General is unavailable.
- To assist the General Secretary in appropriate administrative and secretariat duties.
- To perform other duties assigned to him from time to time by the Executive Organ or EBA.
SECTION 25: FINANCIAL SECRETARY
- The financial Secretary shall keep a record of all financial transactions of the Forum.
- He or shall have a record of the inflow and outflow of the organization’s monies.
- He shall communicate with the donors and make three copies of all donations received. One copy shall be filed with The President, one with The Secretary General and one shall be retained by him.
- All donations and mails of OEF shall be kept in a location approved by the Board of Trustees.
- He or she shall be responsible for the issuance of receipts in respect of funds collected on behalf of the Forum.
SECTION 26: TREASURER:
- The Treasurer shall receive all OEF funds and keep them in bank or repository selected or approved by the Administrative Board.
- Keep and maintain accurate records of all monetary transactions.
- The Treasurer shall require a bill or signed voucher for all disbursements and will issue receipts for all incoming funds.
- The Treasurer must present a monthly financial report at each Board of Trustees or general meetings.
- All records to be audited annually within sixty (60) day of the December General meetings and shall be kept for a minimum of three (3) years.
SECTION 27: PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (P.R.O)
- The PRO shall be the primary image maker, publicist and propagandist of the organisation and ;
- Liaise with the public via social, electronic and print media to create awareness about events, meetings and other activities about the organization.
SECTION 28: LEGAL ADVISER
- The Legal Adviser shall advise the forum on all legal matters, transactions, contracts, rights, obligations, legal due process, statutory filings and relationship with regulatory agencies and other related matters as necessary from time to time.
- Advise and represent the Forum in courts in the event of litigation or legal matters, prepare and file legal documents, deeds, etc., on behalf of the forum.
- He shall mediate on matters of disputes, oversee a contract signing or advise about corporate management of the forum.
SECTION 29: EX-OFFICIO:
- An Ex-Officio member shall be an adviser to the executives on any matter referred to him for advice.
- Carry out such other duties assigned to him/her by the president from time to time.
OTHER EXECUTIVE MEMBERS
The Assistant Treasurer and The Assistant Public Relation Officer shall hold forth whenever the substantive office holder is absent
ARTICLE 10: MEETINGS, QUORUMS & COMMITTEES
SECTION 30: MEETINGS
- The Forum shall hold regular meetings at any time through any of its social media platforms on WhatsApp or Facebook or any other medium deemed appropriate.
- The Executive Board shall meet in the admin Forum on regular basis at their discretion.
This underlined portion is not clear
- The Board of Trustees shall meet physically at least once in a year at a place designated by The Board of Trustees.
- Annual General Meetings shall also be scheduled and held at designated venue at Ogbona.
SECTION 31: QUORUMS
A quorum of the forum shall be formed when:
- A minimum number of fifteen (15), shall constitute a quorum at the regular Annual General Meetings of the Forum, provided that the executive members present among the 15 members shall not exceed six (6) in numbers.
- At the Administrative Board meetings, one third (1/3) of the membership of the Administrative Board of OEF shall constitute a quorum.
- At the Board of Trustees meetings, one third (1/3) of the membership of the Administrative Board and half of the standing committees shall constitute a quorum. Ad hoc committees do not count for quorum.
SECTION 32: COMMITTEES
The Forum shall have the following standing committees
Pursuant to the provision of Article 4 and 5 of this constitution, a Disciplinary Committee comprising of not less than three members, with one of them as the chairman, shall be established to carry out the under listed functions:
- Evaluate issues bordering on indiscipline among members and prescribe punishment for such.
- Shall evaluate related issues that could be injurious to the name and public perception of The Forum or threaten to derail the aims and objectives of the forum.
- Impose sanctions on Erring members.
- determine the gravity of an offence and may impose any of the following penalties;
- For a first offender, issue a warning and give the member 24 hours to tender an unreserved apology,
- In the case of a material capable of being retracted, it shall order the member to publish a retraction immediately and may add a further penalty against the offender after such retraction,
- In the case of a second offender, a suspension for a period not less than one calendar month may be applied as punishment in addition to any other fine or penalty prescribed by the Committee.
- Recommend further sanctions to the EBA such as expulsion, blacklisting and suspension for a period longer than one calendar month in the event of serious offences by any member.
- All sanctions imposed on a member by the Disciplinary Committee shall be effective immediately subject to ratification by the members in General Meeting.
In any event where a member leaves The Forum as a result of expulsion, blacklisting or suspension for a period of one year or more, such a person may be re-admitted in future at the discretion of the Board of Administrators. A re-admitted member shall be entitled full membership rights and privileges.
- Other Committees
The forum shall set up adhoc committees to look at various aspects of The Forum’s endeavours. The committees shall be instituted as at when due and may include but not limited to:
- Community Development Committee
- Projects Inspection Committee
- Electoral Committee
- Resource Centre Committee
- Award Committee
- Publication Committee
- Website Committee
- Membership Committee
- Audit and Budget Committee
SECTION 33: COMMITTE MEMBERS APPOINTMENT
- The President, with the approval of the Board of Administrators, shall determine the membership of a committee and appoint the chairperson from the general membership. The chairpersons would be required to pick its membership.
Please consider deleting the underlined portion as it tends to be in conflict with the preceding part of the section.
- The President shall dissolve such special committees once they have successfully achieved the aims and objectives of the committee and shall communicate their dissolution to the Board of Trustees.
ARTICLE 11: SUPREMACY, AMENDMENT AND DISSOLUTION
SECTION 34: SUPREMACY:
This Constitution and By-Laws shall supersede all previous documents and shall remain so until amended or repealed in accordance with its relevant provisions.
SECTION 35: AMMENDMENTS
- Any proposed amendments to this constitution must be submitted in writing to the secretariat not less than three months before the Annual General Meeting of the Forum.
- Any proposed amendments must be signed by five (5) active members of OEF before being submitted.
- The proposal will be referred to the Board of Trustees for recommendation.
- Proposed amendment and recommendations by the BOT will then be published on the Forum platform on WhatsApp and Facebook or any other medium deemed appropriate at least thirty days before the AGM.
- The amendment shall become a part of this Constitution only if approved byone third (1/3) majority of the member present and voting at the said AGM.
SECTION 36: DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of OEF, any residual funds and other assets will be donated to any similar organisation of Ogbona indigenes or to the community at large. Provided that notwithstanding any other provision in this Constitution, the Ogbona Elit Forum shall not be dissolved unless by a resolution of the forum supported by not less than 2/3 of the totality of the membership of the Forum present and voting at its Annual General Meeting.