■ A few executive members of Houston’s esteemed ‘Peoples Club’ suspended for insubordination may have cleaned up the organizations coffer, holding up about $200,000 in hysterical defiance.
The People’s Club of Nigeria in Houston, an affluent social club whose members are known for cheery personality, sophistication, and devotedness may be battling some internal issues that contradicts its mutual values, and consequences are distracting official business, International Guardian gathered.
While this story is still developing, it was confirmed that the group’s national body summoned an emergency meeting in Dallas earlier in the month and removed most executive members including the president. They were expelled for insubordination. An interim leadership was installed with a mandate to assume the club’s business pending an election expected in about six months.
While information pieces are still being compiled by our newsroom, it was reliably gathered that the suspended executive members in utter agitation of their suspension collaborated to clean-up the group’s bank account with hopes to negotiate their reinstatement. There were also allegations that the ousted executives have been contacting other members to strategize on possibility of inaugurating a similar group.
If the alleged withdrawal of funds is anything to go by, a lengthy litigation my become unavoidable. For instance, International Guardian late last year raised an alarm over a repetitive organizational feud rampant among Nigerian Groups involving unsanctioned bank withdrawals, registration of comparable names, and unruly splitting up of members. Almost all affected organizations, International Guardian reported, ended up in some time and cash-consuming litigations, with the courts often ruling against ‘account clean-up’ and illegal ‘name-registration.'
In April, for instance, a Harris County Court heard a similar case involving two factions of Ada Mbaise Association (Cause No. 1012911), another Nigerian-dominated non-profit organization. Members who lost a routine election had equally raided the group’s treasury, registered a similar name, and broke away. The court later found defiant members guilty of breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Texas Business and Organization’s Code, and fraud by non-disclosure. The court also awarded specified damages including attorney fees to the group.
Consequently, a dispute over comparable name-registration and illegal withdrawal of funds belonging to the organization have grounded two factions of Houston-based Anambra Community Association in a civil litigation for more than three years. Members who lost election to executive board similarly raided the groups coffer and absconded with a few non-conforming members to start a comparable group. The court found the runaway members guilty of identity fraud and upheld the argument that they conspired to form an entity with a name similar to that of the original group for the purpose to defraud. The case is currently in appeal.
As of press time, phone lines are still jammed up with community members discussing the Peoples' Club issue. The interim leadership, it was gathered, is on top of the matter. It had issued official memos mailed to members informing them about the developments, and alerting them about repercussions of defilement of their membership covenant and organizational vows.
Peoples' Club of Nigeria, USA Branch primarily listed its purpose as “arts, culture and humanities with specific focus on cultural, ethnic awareness programs.” FindTheBest.com, a business information research hub, based on Internal Revenue data, reported that Peoples' Club’s year-end assets stood at a striking $1.62 million, making it one of the larger nonprofits in Houston. The 2011 reported income was $245,755, which puts it slightly above average, FindTheBest.com revealed.
■ Story culled from International Guardian, Houston, Texas.