In 1965, the Urhobo Progress Union signed a new constitution into effect. The constitution was signed on behalf of the Union by the President T. E. A. Salubi and the Principal secretary A. T. Rerri.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE URHOBO PROGRESS UNION
This cultural organization shall be called and known as the URHOBO PROGRESS UNION (U.P.U. in short)
MOTTO, AIMS, and OBJECTIVES
The motto of the Urhobo Progress Union (hereinafter referred to as the “Union”) is “Unity is Strength”.
The aims and objectives of the Union shall be:
- To foster the spirit of love, mutual understanding and brotherhood among Urhobo people; good neighbourliness with non-Urhobo people.
- To encourage the growth of education at all levels among Urhobo people.
- To encourage economic development of Urhobo people.
- To work for mutual understanding and co-operation between Urhobo people on the one hand and Governments (Federal, Regional, and Local Governments) on the other hand.
- To project Urhobo personality at all times and everywhere.
- To preserve and promote Urhobo culture and traditions.
STRUCTURE OF THE UNION
The structure of the Union shall be organized as follows:-
(i) Branches; (ii) Zones; (iii) Annual General Council.
BRANCHES, ZONES, AND THE ANNUAL GENERAL COUNCIL.
(i) Branches: A branch union shall be composed of individual members, a women group, and affiliated bodies, if any.
(ii) Zones: A Zone shall be composed of branches within its area of jurisdiction.
(iii) Annual General Council: The Annual General Council shall be composed of:
(a) The National Officers;
(b) The members of the Central Executive Committee
(c) The Trustees;
(d) Veterans whose number shall be determined by the President-General
(e) Seven representatives including two representatives of the Women Wing of the Warri Branch:
(f) Three representatives including one representative of a Women Wing of each Branch. (It should be noted that where a Women Wing functions distinctly from the Men Wing, the delegates should be – Men Wing, two, and Women Wing, one). Provided that where a Women Branch exists alone, that Branch shall be entitled to three representatives.
(g) Subject to the discretion of the President-General, a number of observers may be permitted to be present at the Annual General Council. Such observers may participate in the deliberations of the Council but shall have no vote.
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF
BRANCHES, ZONES, AND ANNUAL GENERAL COUNCIL.
(I) Branches: (a) A branch is a unit of the total members of which shall not be less than twelve financial members at the time of formation. In special cases, a branch may be permitted, from administrative convenience and efficient coverage, to organize sub-branches within its area. Such sub-branches shall however form part of such branch and shall be subordinate to it.
(b) A branch may be founded to cover a whole village or a whole town or a whole city in any part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or anywhere outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(c) In Urhobo Division, a branch may be organized on clan basis.
(d) A branch may have a Women Wing under it but any Women Wing desirous of standing independently by reason of its own strength may be permitted to so stand.
(e) Except as provided under (d) there shall be not more than one branch of the Union in a village, town or city.
(f) A clan union or other organization with ascertained cognate interest with the Union may be permitted to affiliate with the Union. In such case, the clan union or the organization shall be regarded as an affiliated body.
(g) As soon as possible after inauguration but not exceeding a period of six months from the date of the inaugural meeting, every new branch shall apply in the prescribed form to the National Headquarters of the Union for registration and recognition. The application shall be accompanied by the registration fee prescribed under Article XVII. The body competent to give approval for registration and recognition is the Central Executive Committee or the Annual General Council as the case may be.
(h) Upon registration, a certificate in the prescribed form bearing the Union’s seal shall be issued forthwith to the branch.
(i) Any branch or affiliated body that has not been registered, recognized and certified as described in (g) and (h) above, shall be deemed to be unconstitutional by the Central Executive Committee or the Annual General Council. Following such formal declaration, the branch or the affiliated body, as the case may be, shall be stopped by notice in writing from using the Union’s name or from behaving itself, conducting its affairs as if it were a branch of the Union or an affiliated body to the Union.
(j) Every branch or affiliated body shall be bound by this Constitution and any Regulations, which may be made under this Constitution and as, may be amended from time to time. Where the provisions of the constitution of an affiliated body conflict with the provisions of this Constitution, the provisions of this Constitution shall prevail.
(II) Zones (a) For the purpose of mustering the strength of branches within a given geographical area not only for the purpose of effective administration but so that they may be enabled to tackle effectively problems and difficulties peculiar to the area, or to deal more efficiently with matters of common interest to them in the area, branches of the Union may be grouped together geographically. Each such grouping shall be called a Zone.
(b) The Annual General Council shall have power to create Zones from time to time as may be necessary or re-adjust or re-designate the areas or the jurisdictions of existing Zones.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section (i) (g) to (h) above, every branch intending to apply for registration shall also acquaint the Zonal Headquarters of the Zone in which it exists for its intention.
The procedure shall be as follows:
On the receipt of an application for registration, the National Headquarters shall notify the Zone concerned of the receipt of such application and request the Zone for its comments within 30 days. Such comments by the Zone may not necessarily be binding on the National Headquarters. If after the 30 days no reply is received form the Zone, the National Headquarters shall proceed to process the application.
(iii) Annual General Council
(a) The Annual General Council is the supreme authority of the Union. It is the sole policy making body and is responsible for the general tone of the welfare and fortunes of the Union as a whole. The council takes decision in broad questions of policy, considers and decides matters referred to it by the Central Executive Committee, and through the Central Executive Committee by Zonal Executive Committees or Zonal Conference, and the branches, if the Zonal machinery is unable to provide satisfactory solution.
(b) The Annual General Council shall have power to elect National
Officers as provided under Articles VIII (c) and IX (iii), remove any National Officer or Trustees from office, suspend, expel, or otherwise punish any branch or other organs of the Union or under the Union, impose a fine or a levy on any member, or any branch or on any other organs of the Union or under the Union.
(c) The Annual General Council may from time to time delegate powers, authority and functions to the Central Executive Committee, and shall, as it may deem necessary, or advisable, appoint committees or subcommittees for specific or general purposes.
(d) The Annual General Council shall receive reports of branches and all agencies of the Union and cause same to be debated at its meeting.
(e) The Annual General Council shall, subject to consultation with the Board of Governors, have power to promulgate the education and administrative policies of the Union’s educational institutions and shall manifest its interest in matters concerning their functionaries.
(f) The Annual General Council shall have power to do, or to undo, or not to do. It shall have power to do all things to be done, which have not been specifically provided for in this Constitution. Any decision taken by the Annual General Council shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all members, branches and all organs of the Union or under the Union.
Membership of the Union is open to all Urhobo people of good character. Membership shall be of two categories.
(i) Direct membership whereby an individual applies for admission to be a member of a branch.
ii) Associate membership whereby an Urhobo organization, for example, a clan association or other such organization having cognate interest with the Union, applies to become and is accepted as an associate body. Except under very special circumstances, no branch shall be made wholly of associate membership.
There shall be three distinct categories of offices:
(i) Branch offices;
(ii) Zonal officers, and
(iii) National offices.
(i) Branch Officers: Each branch shall have a
(b) Vice President
(d) Assistant Secretary
(f) Financial Secretary
(g) Welfare Officer
(h) Legal Adviser
(i) ‘Otota’ (Spokesman)
(j) ‘Oyinko’ (Messenger), and such other officers as the local conditions may necessitate.
(ii) Zonal Officers: Each Zone shall have a
(a) Zonal President
(b) Zonal Vice President
(c) Zonal Secretary
(d) Zonal Assistant Secretary
(e) Zonal Treasurer
(f) Zonal Financial Secretary, and such other officers as local conditions may necessitate.
(iii) National Officers: The National Officers of the Union shall be
(a) The President-General
(b) The Deputy President-General
(c) The Secretary-General
(d) The Publicity Secretary-General
(e) The Treasurer-General
(f) The Financial Secretary-General
(g) The Legal Advisers, whose number shall not exceed three.
A person who is not an active and financial member of a branch shall not be permitted to hold office in that branch, and except under very special circumstance, no member shall hold more than one office at any one time in his branch.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
(I) Branch Officers:
(a) All Branch Officers shall hold office for one year. Election of Officers shall be at the Annual General meeting of the branch; provided that such election may, for very special reasons, be postponed by a simple majority vote decision of the members present. Provided further that such postponement be not longer than the second regular meeting following the postponement.
(b) All offices shall, before an election, be declared vacant at the end of the business of the meeting. A Returning Officer shall then be appointed to conduct the elections.
(c) A nominee for an office shall be proposed by a member and the proposal shall be seconded by another member.
(d) Election shall, as far as practicable, be by secret ballot. Election by show of hands may be allowed only for convenience of branches where the preponderance of members is illiterate.
(e) An out-going Officer is eligible to be re-elected unless he expresses a desire not to stand.
(f) No member shall be elected into an office in a branch who is in arrears of monthly dues and in default of payment of other levies, contributions and other monies due from him to the Union.
(II) Zonal Officers: Zonal Officers shall hold office for three years; an out-going officer is eligible to be re-elected unless he expresses a desire not to stand. All the other provisions respecting the election of Branch Officers shall apply.
(III) National Officers: (a) All National Officers shall hold office for three years. Election of National Officers shall take place only at an Annual General Council and when a quorum is present. Election shall be by secret ballot only.
(b) All National Officers shall be required to subscribe to an oath of allegiance to the Union in particular and Urhobo-land in general.
(c) All other provisions respecting elections of branch officers and Zonal Officers shall apply. Provided that any vacancy occurring in Branch or Zonal Officers before normal efflusion of time, may be filled by a bye-election by the branch or the Zone. In the case of a National Office the vacancy may be filled by nomination by the Central Executive Committee. The nominee shall hold the office in an acting capacity till an Annual General Council confirms the nomination. Such Officer shall hold the office only for rest of the period remaining.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
(I) Branch Officers:
(a) President:- The President shall preside at all meetings of the branch, executive committees, and conduct meetings with propriety and order. He shall sign all minutes of the branch and the branch executive committee, and through the branch secretary, summon meetings of the branch or the branch executive committee when necessary or at the request of a reasonable number of financial members. He shall together with the branch secretary sign all orders and vouchers on the branch treasury, and together with the branch secretary or the branch Treasurer sign all withdrawals from the funds of the branch which may have been deposited in any bank.
(b) Vice President: The Vice President shall assist the branch President in conducting the business of the branch and deputize for him when he is absent.
(c) Secretary: The Secretary shall keep all books, documents and other things pertaining to his office in a satisfactory manner, perform all duties devolving upon him under this constitution, conduct the correspondence of the branch, attend meetings of the branch and of the branch executive committee, and take and keep the inutes of such meetings. He shall together with the President sign all orders and vouchers on the branch treasury.
(d) Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive all monies for the branch and keep an accurate account in a permanent record. He shall issue receipts for monies received by him. He shall within 72 hours of the receipt of such monies pay into the Bank approved by the branch, but he shall have with him for imprest an amount not exceeding £5. All money shall normally pass to him through the Financial Secretary. He shall submit an annual return of monies received and paid out at the Annual General Meeting.
(e) Assistant Secretary: The Assistant Secretary shall assist the Secretary generally in his normal duties and deputize for him in his absence.
(f) Financial Secretary: The Financial Secretary shall collect all fees, levies, donations, contributions or any monies the collection of which is authorized by the branch, and pay such monies promptly to the Treasurer and obtain a receipt; he shall keep a proper and permanent account of all monies. He shall at the end of the year render the return of all monies received by him and all arrears outstanding in his annual report to the branch’s Annual General Meeting.
(g) Welfare Officer: It shall be the duty of the branch Welfare Officer and such other assistants as may be appointed to assist him in his duties to visit, whether or not he is instructed, any member who is reported or known to be ill, bereaved, in trouble, in domestic difficulties or is otherwise involved in some form of difficulty or accident. He shall report to the President when there is no meeting, or if there is a meeting, the general meeting or the executive committee meeting, whichever sits earlier, the condition in which each member so visited was found, and advice on any form of assistance, if necessary. Under normal circumstances, the Welfare Officer or his assistants shall visit members at reasonably short intervals.
(h) Legal Adviser: A branch may appoint a Legal Adviser whose duty is to advise the branch in all legal and constitutional matters.
(i) “Otota” (Spokesman): It is permissible as a matter of convenience and in accordance with Urhobo custom for any branch which so desire to appoint an “Otota” (Spokesman).
(j) “Oyinko” (Messenger): A branch may also appoint an “Oyinko” (Messenger) who shall take message or perform duties ascribed to him by the branch.
ii) Zonal Officers:
Within the limits of the wider functions of the Zone, the duties of the Zonal Officers shall be the same as the duties of National Officers except that they shall in the performance of their duties emphasize and bring to the fore more pronouncely matters and problems which are of group interest to the branches forming the Zone, and endeavor to tackle them or to get them tackled for the benefit of the group.
The Zonal President, Zonal Vice President, Zonal Secretary or any Zonal Officer delegated to do so, may tour the branches of the Zone for the purpose of strengthening the Zonal organization. A Zone may appoint its own Legal Adviser if it so desires and any Zone that is financially able may appoint an Administrative Secretary for the efficient running of the affairs and maintenance of the Zone.
(iii) National Officers:
(a) The President-General: The President-General is the supreme head of the Union and shall on all occasions take precedence over all officers of the Union wherever they may be. The President-General shall preside at all meetings of the Annual General Council, the Central Executive Committee and the National Officers Meetings. He shall, unless he prefers to exercise his discretionary powers to remain as an observer, preside at any meeting or meetings of the branches and of the Zones at which he is present. The President-General has power to require any branch or any Zone of the Union to summon a meeting to be held under his Presidency if in his opinion it is in the interest of the Union to do so.
The President-General shall be required to present a Presidential Address to the Annual General Council. The President-General shall have power to order the exclusion of any delegate or any observer or any person from any meeting or meetings of the Annual General Council, Central Executive Committee or any other meeting if the conduct, behavior or the presence of such a delegate, observer or person is in his opinion considered not to be in the best interest of the Union or of the proceedings of the particular meeting or meetings. The President-General shall have a casting or a second vote in addition to an original vote.
It shall be within the absolute discretion of the President-General to use or not to use his casting or second vote. The President-General shall, subject to the provisions of Article XXIV, have power to summon the meeting of Annual General Council, Emergency General Council, Central Executive Committee and the National Officers Meeting whenever he considers the holding of such a meeting to be necessary in the interest of the Union. The President-General shall together with the Treasurer-General and the Secretary-General sign all checks, vouchers and other orders authorizing withdrawals from the accounts of the Union in the bank or from the Treasury as the case may be. The President-General shall in consultation with the National Officers, have power to do all things that are necessary to be done in the best interest of the Union but which are not specifically described in this Constitution.
The President-General may resign from his office
(1) on his own volition by giving a notice in writing of his intention to do so.
(2) if a vote of no confidence is passed on him by a simple majority of the members present at an Annual General Council.
If the President-General vacates his office by reason of (1) or (2) or both (1) and (2) as may sometimes happen or if he retires as normally happen at the end of his tenure and is not re-elected, he shall hand over within fourteen days to the Deputy President-General or the Central Executive Committee any properties of the Union which passed into his hand or possession by virtue of his office.
(b) The Deputy President-General: The Deputy President-General shall assist the President-General generally, and act for him during his absence.
In the absence of the President-General and the Deputy President and the Deputy President General the members present shall appoint a member from among themselves to preside.
(c) The Secretary-General: Subject only to direction or instructions from the President-
General or the Deputy President-General in the absence of the President-General, or the Central Executive Committee, the Secretary-General is in theory and practice the head of the National Secretariat. All the full-time officers of the Union including the Administrative Secretary and supervises the management, administration and the working generally of the National Secretariat. He shall cause to be taken and kept in a permanent form the minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the Annual General Council, the Central Executive Committee and the National Officers Meeting. The Secretary-General shall be responsible for the conduct and maintenance of such correspondence as may be required to be conducted and maintained. He shall render an annual report of the activities of the Union to the Annual General Council. The Secretary-General shall together with the President-General and the Treasurer-General sign all checks, vouchers and other orders authorizing withdrawals from the accounts of the Union in the bank or from the Treasury. In the case of his vacation of office either through dismissal, resignation or otherwise, he shall immediately hand over to the President-General, or to the Deputy President-General in the absence of the President-General, all records, files, documents, books or other properties of the Union which came into his hand or possession by virtue of his office.
The Publicity Secretary-General: The Publicity Secretary-General shall, subject to directions as may be necessary from the Secretary-General, give publicity to every aspect of the work of the Union and shall cultivate and promote good public relations between the Union and other organizations as the case may be.
(e) The Treasurer-General: The Treasurer-General shall receive and pay into any Bank approved by the Central Executive Committee, within 72 hours, all monies received for and on behalf of the Union. He shall have with him for imprest an amount not exceeding £20. He shall not pay any bill except the payment voucher prepared by him in respect of the bill shall have been signed by both the President-General and the Secretary-General. He shall together with the President-General and the Secretary-General sign all withdrawals from the Bank. He shall keep a true and accurate record of all receipts and expenditure; render a proper income and expenditure account annually and prepare a Balance Sheet of the assets and liabilities of the Union annually; and his books and accounts shall be audited by an Auditor. All monies shall generally pass to the Treasurer-General through the Financial Secretary-General.
(f) The Financial Secretary-General: The Financial Secretary-General shall collect monies due to the Union and shall keep a proper account of the monies so collected. He shall pay to the Treasurer-General all monies collected by him within 72 hours of the collection of such monies, stating on the Receipt Voucher the source or sources from which such monies were collected and obtain a receipt of each payment from the Treasurer-General. He shall be required to render an annual report to the Annual General Council
(g) The Legal Advisers: The Legal Adviser shall advise the Union and its officers on all legal matters and on the Constitution of the Union. The Union may not be bound to take his advice. He shall, when the occasion arises, arrange for the defense of the Union in a court of law. Not more than three Legal Advisers may be appointed.
The following shall, for the time being, constitute the statutory committees of the Union.
(i) Branch Executive Committee
(ii) Zonal Executive Committee
(iii) Central Executive Committee
(iv) National Officers Meeting
COMPOSITION OF STATUTORY COMMITTEES
(i) Branch Executive Committee: A Branch Executive Committee shall be composed of the Branch Officers, the representative of the Branch in the Zonal Executive Committee, if not already an officer, as ex-officio members, and such number of un-official members as the branch may decide to elect. The election shall be by-secret ballot or by show of hands as provided under Article IX above.
(ii) Zonal Executive Committee: All Zonal officers shall be ex-officio members of the Zonal Executive Committee. The unofficial Zonal Executive members shall be representatives nominated by the branches forming the Zone. Not more than three representatives shall be nominated from each branch, but in the case of a branch where there is a Women Wing, one of the representatives shall be a woman.
(iii) Central Executive Committee: All National Officers shall be ex-officio members of the Central Executive Committee. The unofficial members of the Central Executive Committee shall be
(a) One representative of each of the Zones whose area of jurisdiction is within Nigeria; provided that Warri Branch shall have two representatives.
(b)The Chairman of the Management Committee of the Urhobo College who shall have been a registered financial member of the Union.
(c) Three representatives of Women Wings of the Union who shall represent women interests, and shall be elected one each by the Warri, Central Urhobo and Western Urhobo Zones.
(iv) National Officers Meeting: The National Officers Meeting shall be composed of all National Officers. The National Officers Meeting is in fact a sub-committee or an agent of the Central Executive Committee to which it shall be responsible.
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS
OF STATUTORY COMMITTEES.
(i) Branch Executive Committee: Each Branch Executive Committee shall, subject to the wishes of the branch, have power to manage the affairs of the branch. It shall also have power to recommend suspension, dismissal or other disciplinary action against any member, to the General Meeting of the branch for final action.
(ii) Zonal Executive Committee: The Zonal Executive Committee shall be responsible for the orderly management of the affairs of the Zone. It shall exercise a beneficial influence over all the branches forming the Zone and shall in certain respects be answerable to the Central Executive Committee for the conduct of its member-branches.
(iii) Central Executive Committee: The Central Executive Committee shall be next in rank and authority to the Annual General Council.
The Central Executive Committee shall be responsible for the execution of the decisions of the Annual General Council, the general administration of the business and the government of the Union during intervals between Annual General Councils.
The Central Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a year, at such time and place as the President-General may direct. The Central Executive Committee may appoint committees or sub-committees to deal with the business of the Union, and may invest such committees or sub-committees with such powers as it may deem necessary; provided that such committees or sub-committees shall only be subject to the control and direction of the Annual General Council and shall have power to:
(a) impose levies or fines on members, branches, or other agencies of the Union as it may consider necessary for the furtherance of the aims, objectives and interests of the Union;
(b) order the dissolution of a Branch Executive Committee or a Zonal Executive Committee the activities of which, in its opinion, threaten the unity and solidarity of the Union. The Central Executive Committee may set up a caretaker committee in place of the dissolved Executive Committee. The Central Executive Committee shall, as soon as possible, order a fresh-election under its own auspices, and in any case, a caretaker committee shall not run for a period exceeding six months.
(c) dissolve, upon the recommendation of a Zonal Executive Committee, or on its own initiative, any branch which it may consider unnecessary or the further existence of which is considered to be undesirable and prejudicial to the interest of the Union. The officers of such a dissolved branch shall cease forthwith to hold office. The funds and all other properties of the branch shall thereafter be remitted into the custody of the National Secretariat.
The National Secretarial shall direct the ways and manner of disposing of such funds or other properties.
(d) accord, on behalf of the Annual General Council, official recognition to any branch union that shall have been newly formed during interval of Annual General Councils.
(e) manage, during intervals of Annual General Councils, all the affairs of the Union and shall take decisions on all issues, reporting at the appropriate time later, to the Annual General Council provided that the action of the Central General Council in respect of (a), (b) and (c) above, shall be subject to appeal to the Annual General Council. Such an appeal shall not however prevent the Branch Executive Committee or the Zonal Executive Committee from carrying out in the meantime the order of the Central Executive Committee, unless of course the Central Executive Committee itself, or the Annual General Council, as the case may be, suspends or stays the execution or the implementation of the order pending the hearing of the appeal.
(iv) National Officers Meeting: The National Officers Meeting shall be a consultative and advisory body to the President-General during intervals between meetings of the Central Executive Committee. The National Officers Meeting shall have power to take decisions on behalf of, and shall be fully answerable to, the Central Executive Committee. And in particular, the National Officers Meeting shall, in addition to any powers which may be specially assigned to it by this Constitution, exercise the powers of the Central Executive Committee especially where and when it is impossible for the Central Executive Committee to meet. Minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the National Officers Meetings shall be forwarded to each member of the National Executive Committee.
The Union shall establish and maintain a central office to be known as National Secretariat. The head of the National Secretariat shall be the Secretary-General. All paid officials of the Union shall be responsible and answerable to the Secretary-General.
There shall be two officially recognized headquarters in the context of this constitution, namely,
(i) Zonal Headquarters
(ii) National Headquarters
(i) Zonal Headquarters: Each recognized Zone shall establish and maintain a central office to be known as the Zone’s Headquarters. The sitting of the headquarters of each Zone shall be determined by the branches comprising the Zone.
(ii) National Headquarters: The National Headquarters of the Union shall be the National Secretariat, and, in the context of this Constitution, the term National Headquarters means and includes the Secretary-General, the Secretariat Staff all of whom act under the authority of the President-General.
There shall be a post to be known, as the post of an Administrative Secretary which shall, as far as possible, remain filed always. The Administrative Secretary, who shall be a paid employee of the Union, shall be appointed by the Central Executive Committee. He is not, by reason of the appointment, a National Officer, but a person already holding a National Office may be appointed as an Administrative Secretary because of his special qualifications and aptitude. The Administrative Secretary shall be the chief executive officer of the National Secretariat. He shall supervise and control all the paid employees of the Union and shall take directives from the Secretary General in the running of the National Secretariat.
He shall deal with all the correspondence, keep the files and undertake the day-to-day business of the National Secretariat. He shall take the minutes of the Annual General Council, the Central Executive Committee, the National Officers Meeting and of other sub-committees as may be required. He shall undertake to organize branches, and shall whenever it is advisable, be delegated to attend Zonal Conferences and Zonal Committee meetings.
FEES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
No branch shall be registered and recognized except upon payment of a registration fee of £2.2.-d (two guineas) but in the case of an associated body the fee shall be £3.3.-d(three guineas). In either case the fee must accompany the application for registration. Admission fee for direct membership and monthly subscription by individual members shall be determined by each branch. In no case shall admission fee be less that 5/-, monthly subscription less than 1/- and membership card less than 2/-. A fee to be known as the National Headquarters Maintenance Fund payable by the branch to the National Headquarters shall be determined by the Central Executive Committee. Application by any organization for affiliation shall be accompanied by a fee of £3.3.-d and the annual subscription by the associated organization shall be £1.1.d.
The funds of the Union shall be derived from the subscriptions by, and levies on, members; donations and public collections; sale of membership cards, books, pamphlets and money raised from other sources. Fees for the admission of new members and monthly subscriptions shall be as provided in Article XVII of the Constitution. The funds of the Union alone shall be answerable for any debts lawfully incurred and claims lawfully made against it. No member, although he may a party to any order, shall be individually liable in respect of any other lawfully given or made against the Union. The funds of a branch shall be the common property of the Union. Any branch seceding from the Union or any member or group of members resigning or otherwise severing connection with the branch, or the Union, shall forfeit every right or claim to such funds.
Auditors shall not be elected or appointed permanently into office. Three weeks to the Annual General Meeting, Annual Zonal Conference or to the Annual General Council, or at any other time as may be necessary so to do, auditing of the accounts must be ordered. The authorities concerned shall retain professional auditors, or appoint two members to audit the accounts. The auditor shall submit a written report for the presentation at the Annual General Meeting. Annual Zonal Conference or Annual General Council, as the case may be.
The fiscal year of the Union shall be the period 1st January to the 31st December of the same year.
The Trustees of the Union for the purpose of registration under the Land (Perpetual Succession Ordinance, 1924), shall be appointed by the Annual General Council.
The trustees shall be three members of the Union, and they cover also all Branch Unions.
The trustees shall have vested in them the real estate, whatever belongs to the Union. They shall deal with the estates and the belongings in such a manner as the Central Executive Committee or the Annual General Council may direct. Trustees shall remain in office subject to good behavior.
If the office of a trustee falls vacant it shall be filled by the Annual General Council. A trustee shall be removed from office at the Annual General Council if two-thirds of members present vote for his removal. All trustees must jointly sign all deeds on behalf of the Union.
The trustees shall have power to accept and hold in trust all land belonging to the Union subject to such conditions as may be imposed. All documents of the Union shall be executed by the trustees and sealed with the Union’s seal.
Veterans mean and include inactive members of the Union who have distinguished themselves by long experience and grown old in the service of the Union and who are still interested in and loyal to the cause of the Union. Veterans may be allowed to attend from time to time any meeting of the Union. They are eligible to contribute to discussions but shall have no right to vote.
Observers mean and include members of the Union attending any meeting on sufferance. Observers may contribute to discussions but shall have no right to vote.
(i) Any member or a group of members of a branch union who is not satisfied with any decision made by the branch or by the branch executive committee of the Union may within 60 days from the date of the decision appeal to the Zonal body to which the branch belongs. It shall be within the discretion of that Zone to decide whether such an appeal shall be heard at its normal Zonal Executive Committee or at its Zonal Conference or at a special committee arranged for that purpose. In any case, the appeal shall with reasonable diligence be heard within 60 days from the date when it was first lodged with the Zone. The appeal fee shall be £1.1.0d.
(ii) If a member or a group of members of a branch, or if a branch as a whole, is dissatisfied with any decision of the Zone of which it is a member, such a member, or group of members, or the branch as a whole, may within 60 days from the date of the decision of the Zone appeal to the Central Executive Committee.
It shall be within the competence of the Central Executive Committee itself to deal with the appeal or appoint a sub-committee to deal with it. The appeal fee shall be £2.2.0d. Provided that if the appeal succeeds, the respondent must refund the appeal fee to the appellant. The Central Executive Committee is the highest appellate body of the Union as a whole, and its decision or ruling shall be final.
The regular meetings of the Union shall be
(i) Branch Union meeting
(ii) Branch Executive Committee meeting
(iii) Zonal Conference
(iv) Zonal Executive Committee meeting
(v) Central Executive Committee meeting
(vi) National Officers Meeting
(vii) Meeting of the Annual General Council.
An emergency meeting of any of the above-named may be called as and when the need arises.
NOTICE OF MEETING
There shall be seven clear days notice of meeting to all members with regard to regular branch union meetings. No such notice may however be necessary where, as in many cases, the days of meeting have already been permanently fixed to specific days of the month e.g. first Saturday or first Sunday or so, of every month. A notice of at least fourteen days shall be required in the case of Zonal Conference. On the direction of the President-General, at least three months’ notice of the intention to hold on Annual General Council shall be given to branches, Zones and affiliated bodies by the National Secretariat. If owing to circumstances such notice is unable to convey exact dates of the meeting, a subsequent notice bearing such information shall be sent as soon as possible thereafter. Owing to the nature of the circumstances giving rise to the holding of emergency meetings, it has not been considered advisable to set down in a permanent way the length of notice for convening them. The length of notice shall in each case be determined by the exigency or otherwise of the subject to be discussed and the time available. If the President or the Branch Executive Committee fails consistently for three months to summon any meeting of the Union, the members of the branch may compel the President or the Branch Executive Committee to do so in the following manner. Any ten financial members shall call the meeting which may be ordinary or emergency by signifying in writing their desire to do so in a document to which they append their signatures. In such a case, the ten members shall be the quorum and any business transacted at such a meeting shall be valid.
A quorum shall be deemed to be present at Branch meetings, Branch Executive Committee meetings, Zonal Conference and Zonal Executive Committee meetings if the attendance is made up of one quarter of the members on roll including the President and/or the Secretary, except in cases of emergency as provided in Article XXVI. In the case of the Central Executive Committee, seven members including the President-General and/or the Secretary-General shall form the quorum.
In regard to the National Officers Meeting any five National Officers sitting with the authority and direction of the President-General, shall form the quorum.
With respect to the Annual General Council, one half of the National Officers including the President-General or the Deputy President-General or the Secretary-General, and representatives of ten branches shall be the quorum.
Each branch or Zone shall prepare an agenda for its meetings. In the case of Annual General Council, each branch or Zone shall, seven weeks before the sitting of the Council, send to the National Secretariat its own suggestions and proposals, resolutions and motions for considerations for inclusion in the agenda. After processing the final agenda, it shall as far as practicable reach the branches and Zones at least three weeks before the sitting of the Annual General Council.
All chairmen of agencies or sub-bodies of the Union, and all branches of the Union shall be required to submit annual reports to the Annual General Council.
Where the person to submit a report is not a registered member of the Union, he may attend the meeting of the Annual General Council upon invitation and only at the time that he is required to do so.
URHOBO NATIONAL DAY
The anniversary of the founding of the Union which falls on the 3rd November shall be observed everywhere by Urhobo people as the URHOBO NATIONAL DAY. It is to be noted that the Union was founded on 3rd November, 1931.
CONFERENCES & ASSEMBLIES
The Branch Executive Committee, or the Zonal Executive Committee, or the Central Executive Committee, may, in matters within their respective limits and competence, organize conferences or assemblies which shall be open to non-members of the Union for the purpose of furthering the interests of the Urhobo nation and people.
VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
If owing to unsatisfactory behavior, conduct or action of an officer or a group of members or officers or of an Executive Committee, a vote of no confidence is successfully moved against such member, or officer or a group of members or officers or against an Executive Committee, he or they shall be at once vacate office if he is an office-holder, or if they are office-holders. All those involved and impeached in a vote of no confidence shall not participate in the vote that is to ensue, and shall resign from their office, if two thirds of the members on roll and present at the meeting voted against them. An out-voted member or officer shall within 3 days of such voting hand over all union property in his possession to the President or Secretary if they are themselves not involved. If they are, the handing-over shall be made to any three financial members who shall jointly sign a receipt of having taken over the property.
Any member or officer who is dissatisfied may within 7 days lodge an appeal as provided under Article XXIV.
Any member whose behavior, conduct or action is proved or considered as likely to bring discredit to the Union, or whose behavior, conduct or action is or appears to be against the general interest of the Union or whose behavior, conduct or action is or appears to be subversive to the welfare, unity and solidarity of the Union, shall upon successful trial after an indictment, be guilty of an offence and shall be disciplined in one of the following ways according to the gravity of the offence:
(a) Removal from office, if an officer;
(b) Fine up to a maximum of £20.
(c) Suspension up to a maximum period of 12 months, or
(d) Dismissal or expulsion from the Union.
If a member who is disciplined by his own branch is dissatisfied he shall have the right to appeal as provided under Article XXIV.
POWER TO MAKE BYE-LAWS
A branch may make bye-laws for the conduct of its local affairs, but such bye-laws and any amendments thereto, shall be submitted for approval to the Central Executive Committee. Such bye-laws shall not be operative unless such approval has been given. A copy of such bye-laws shall be filed in the National Secretariat.
SEAL, EMBLEM, CREST AND COLORS
The seal of the Union shall be a design recommended by a resolution of the Central Executive Committee and approved by the Annual General Council.
The Emblem and Crest of the Union shall be the leopard with a palm tree in the background, and shall be used for all purposes authorized by the Union.
The Colors of the Union shall be determined by the Central Executive Committee and approved by the Annual General Council.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
The Annual General Council, either at its regular meetings, or emergency meeting, shall have power to alter, vary, repeal, add to, or otherwise amend any or all of the provisions of this Constitution. Provided that a majority of the delegates present at the Council pass a substantive motion in support of the action.
Article XXXVII: DISSOLUTION
The Union shall not dissolve itself except on a seven-eight majority vote of delegates taken at a meeting of the Annual General Council or if two-thirds of the total number of registered branches so desire. Provided that debts and liabilities lawfully incurred on behalf of the Union shall have been discharged and the remaining funds, if any devoted to a purpose decided upon by the Annual General Council.
This Constitution repeals and replaces the previous Constitution of the Union especially the one adopted at the 1956 Annual General Council.
PASSED ON THE MANDATE OF THE LAST ANNUAL GENERAL COUNCIL BY THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AT ITS MEETING HELD ON SATURDAY, 25TH SEPTEMBER 1965.
T.E.A. Salubi – PRESIDENT-GENERAL A.T. Rerri – PRINCIPAL SECRETARY
These Regulations are made as supplement to the Constitution. In the case where the Constitution and the Regulations conflict, the Constitution shall prevail.
MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS
A prospective member shall appear in person at a general meeting of a branch and apply for enrolment. The branch to which the application is made shall consider, approve or disapprove the membership of the applicant.
In the event of a branch refusing to enroll a prospective member, such prospective member may re-apply for enrolment after a duration of 12 months.
Every member of the Union shall possess the Union’s membership card whose price shall be fixed by the branch issuing the card.
A member who wishes to speak at a meeting shall signify his intention by raising up his hand. He must not speak until the President or any member presiding has allowed him to speak.
A member shall speak on a given subject once only unless the member presiding directs otherwise; but a member who introduces a topic or motion shall have the right to speak twice by answering the points raised by other members on the subject.
A member shall not quarrel or engage in side talks with other members in a meeting.
A member shall not impute improper motive at a meeting.
A member shall not read newspapers or other papers not relevant to the subject under discussion in a meeting.
At the Annual General Meeting of a branch, or the triennial Zonal Conference or the triennial General Council where elections to offices will be held, the offices shall be declared vacant at the end of the business of the meeting and a returning officer shall be appointed to conduct the elections.
A nominee for an office shall be proposed by a member and seconded by another member.
Election of officers shall be as provided in Article IX of the Constitution, and voting shall be as provided in Article IX (I) (d).
In the case of a branch, a member shall not be elected to an office who is in arrears of monthly dues and other levies.
The fees payable by a member for enrollment, membership card, monthly subscription, etc. shall be determined by the branch to which the application has been made. Provided the provisions of Article XVII of the Constitution shall, strictly be adhered to.
A member shall not continue in office if he is in arrears of monthly dues up to six months.
A member who, without reasonable excuse, delays or refuses to pay a levy imposed by the Union, shall be penalized with an imposition of surcharge whose percentage shall be determined by the branch or organ of the Union imposing the levy.
The Zonal Executive Committee or the Zonal Conference, the Central Executive Committee or the Annual General Council, shall have the power to impose levies on branches, and such levies shall be paid at the time stipulated for payments. A surcharge shall be imposed on defaulting branches.