Constitution of Anambra State Association – Finland
We, the members of Anambra State Association Finland (APU),Having firmly and solemnly resolve, to exist in unity and harmony as one indivisible and reputable organization under Anambra State Association Finland; dedicated to the promotion of Anambrarian solidarity, member cooperation and appreciation and promotion of Igbo Social and cultural values.
And to provide a constitution for the purpose of promoting the good governance and welfare of all her members, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our association in Finland.
Do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following constitution:
Article I. Official Name:
The official name of the association shall be called” Anambra State Association Finland Ry” -herein bears acronym as (APU).
Section 1.01 Domicile of the Association:
The association will be registered in Helsinki with its provincial office situated where the elected chairman of the association resides.
Section 1.02 Status of the Association:
- Association of Anambra State Association Finland (APU) has the status of legal person and is subject to the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of Finland.
- All of its activities shall be governed by the Finnish laws, in accordance with the laws and regulations concerning the registration of an association.
- The association shall be an Independent body, which acts in its own capacity under its own name with a view of functioning in such a way of achieving the aims and fulfilling the obligations, which are expounded in the constitution
- The association is to operate as a Non-political organization.
- The Association should have a formally adopted, written code of ethics herein refers as “Constitution” with which all of its members, are familiar with and to which they must adhere.
Section 1.03 Language
The meeting shall have Igbo as its language of deliberation and English for documentation and Filing purposes. However English may also be use occasionally whenever such need arises.
Article II. Purpose and Activities
Section 2.01 Main Purpose
The purpose of the association shall be:
- To serve as the umbrella organization under which Anambra indigenes may come together to work towards actualization of united and progressive agenda for her members and her families.
- To promote the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood among members through social and cultural interactions.
- To protect the interest of Anambra Indigenes and Igbo people in Finland and also to foster a cordial relationship between the association and the people of Finland.
- To serve as a bridge and whenever possible assist in providing support to her members.
- To provide information related to member’s interest and to facilitate cooperation and support among members.
- To participate in all crusades in making Nigeria and especially Anambra state a hub for all positive development.
- To give preparatory and post-orientation tuition and information to future Anambra indigenes coming to live in Finland.
Section 2.02 Means of achieving the main purpose
To realize its purpose and to support its activities the association can:
- Receive support, donations, contributions and legacies.
- Organize fund raising after having obtained the appropriate license.
- Own moveable and immoveable properties necessary for its activities.
- Organize events that may be subject to a charge.
- Organize or arrange meetings, seminars, conferences, workshops, conventions, festivities, educational events and other similar activities.
- Distribute literature and other materials on and about Igbo people of Nigeria.
- Promote Anambra businesses and investment programmes through its Special project teams.
- Create a forum for network among Igbo people living in Finland.
Article III. Membership
The membership of Anambra State Association Finland shall be open to Anambra indigenous citizens resident in or around Finland. Membership number shall be unlimited. The classes of membership are described below:
- Full membership (all Igbo people of Anambra extraction)
All Anambra citizen(s) who is (are) resident in Finland is(are) eligible to apply as a full member of the association. ***Citizen(s) as referred above can also be extended to person(s) or individual(s) who by the implication of mixed marriages has an either Anambrarian father or mother.
- Associate Membership:
This class of membership is open to person(s) who are not of Anambra origin and do not meet conditions set forth in article §3(1) but identify themselves with or share the same ideology and objectives of the Association. Associate members may attend meetings and are allowed to participate in union activities except otherwise prohibited by the chairman on the advice of the executive committee. Associate members do not pay dues, they are not eligible to vote or be voted for and shall not receive any full membership entitlements or benefits unless otherwise stated.
- Honorary Membership
This is person(s) or entity that makes substantial donations or contributions, such as funds, charitable goods and property to the goodwill of the Association. Or anyone who strongly identify with the goals and aspirations of the union, may at the recommendation of the executive committee, be conferred with honorary membership. Honorary members can participate in the union meetings but have no voting privileges and are not bound by any of the union rules except the rule guiding the meeting of which he or she opted to attend.
The executive board may recommend one or more members (full members and honorary members) to the general house at a regular meeting for designation as Patrons. To qualify as a patron, the individual(s) must have demonstrated a strong identity with causes of the association by their enthusiastic support, financial generosity, useful counsel and leadership. At no time shall the total number of active patrons be more than three (3) of APU members.
- Inactive/Nominal/Non-Financial member
A member shall be considered to be a nominal/inactive/non-financial member of the association if:
- He/she has not paid the membership fees or other dues within one year after the expiry date.
- He/she has failed to fulfill the obligations or requirements as stipulated in the constitution and show little or no concern in achieving the association goals and objectives, or without any justifiable reasons, refuses to engage in
Section 3.01 Registration
- Intending member(s) classified above§3(1),(2),(3) must duly fill in the required membership form to express his/her willingness in joining the association.
- A person(s) aspiring to become full member of the association is required to pay his/her registration fee, as well as other dues, like monthly/annual dues, or any other dues approved by the general Assembly.
- Except otherwise stated, members in class §3(2),(3),(4) do not pay Registration fee during registration.
- A person(s) who participate(s) in all association activities but have not fulfilled all registration requirement as stipulated in Section 3.02 (I & 2,) shall not be considered as full member of the association and thus, shall not be granted or accorded full membership status or any entitlement contained therein.
- A registered member who has paid his/her registration fee, shall be given our guiding code of conduct (constitution) and a pin code (password) for access to our website privileged member pages.
Section 3.02 Membership dues
- Registration and yearly membership fees shall be decided during the association annual meeting, registration fee is paid once, while annual dues varies from year to year as may be accepted by the majority during the general assembly.
- Annual dues can be paid either in whole, or installment basis as may be desired by such member, but shall be completed by mid year of the accounting period. If for some reason(s) where a member cannot meet up the deadline, and supported with adequate explanation to the executive committee, such a member may be granted an extension of not more than two months to complete such dues.
Section 3.03 Other Dues
Members of the association are obliged to honor other dues generally accepted by the house, which for some reasons, are deemed necessary for the execution of unforeseen duties which may arise from time to time. Donations are also welcomed for the support of projects or related issues of interest.
Section 3.04 Inactive/Nominal/Non-Financial member
A member shall be considered to be a nominal/inactive/non-financial member of the association if:
- He/she has not paid the membership fees or other dues within one year after the expiry date.
- He/she has failed to fulfill the obligations or requirements as stipulated in the constitution and show little or no concern in achieving the association goals and objectives, or without any justifiable reasons, refuses to engage in projects or activities that are geared towards the improvement and wellbeing of the association.
Article IV. Resignation/Termination of Membership
- A member either with full membership status or holding other classes of membership has the right to resign his or her membership.
- Such aspiring resignee person shall do so by writing to the general assembly through the executive committee of the association.
- The resignee letter of resignation must be read at the general meeting.
- In fulfillment of article 2 Section 2.01.1.(I & 2 & 3 & 4), the Chairman shall try to persuade the member to withdraw his/her resignation letter by appointing two members to counsel the resignee .
- The resignation takes effect after Article V(2 & 3& 4) has been exercised and shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
- There is no remuneration or compensation for a resignee person.
Section 4.01 Dismissal/Suspension/Expulsion:
The executive committee with the recommendation of the disciplinary committee reserves the right to suspend a member (from any classes of membership) from the association, or its activities if:
- he/she has left his or her obligations, such as annual dues unpaid for a period of over two calendar years after payment deadline, or
- if he or she do not fulfill the obligations that he or she is bound as a member when joining the association, or for not abiding by the rules of the association.
- if he or she no longer meets the requirements or membership without convincing arguments or reasons, as laid down in the rules and regulations of the association.
- All dismissed executive member or other membership must maintain the confidentiality of all association proceedings and meetings. (Any breach of confidence may attract legal action).
Section 4.02 Power to expel in Circumstantial evidence
In Circumstantial evidence, the decision to expel or suspend a member shall rest on the majority’s resolution during the association’s meeting after been carefully reviewed by the disciplinary committee. In such circumstances, it will usually be a case where a member either
- by his or her actions within the association or in the public place, has greatly damaged the reputation or image of the association by one way or the other, as can be verified or established, either by evidence or by facts and not by ”hearsay”, or
- On account of poor behavior which by its nature damage the image of the association or her members.
Article V. Resignation & Impeachment/Removal of the Chairman
To impeach the Chairman, at least one-fifth majority of all the members must sign a petition explaining all the details necessary to take such action.
- The petition must be submitted to the secretary who will then; along with the Vice Chairman shall submit the petition to the council of five members (disciplinary committee) to consider such petition.
- The council members shall be appointed within two weeks of receipt of the petition and must be approved by a simple majority of the general body during the following general meeting.
- The council must tender its findings (i.e., turn-in a report) and recommendation (stating whether the petition is justifiable to remove the Chairman or not) at the next general meeting following the council’s formation.
- Based on the council’s finding, a vote of no confidence is therefore passed with a rounded two-third (2/3) majority vote which is adequate to remove the Chairman from his position. The Chairman upon the resounding decision of the general assembly automatically be removed from his position.
- The unseated Chairman shall return all properties of the association within his/her possession one week after the general assembly decision.
- An executive with genuine reasons can present letter to resign refer to Article IV(I & ii) for details.
- The association shall evaluate the case and will give the resignee officer one month to reconsider his/her application.
- After one calendar month from the date the letter was received, the association shall relieve the officer from his or her duties and Article VIII (8 & 9 & 10 & 11& 12) applies.
Section 5.01 Impeachment/ Removal of other Executive Officers
- To impeach an executive, a letter will be sent to the disciplinary committee via the Chairman.
- The officer in question may be sent to the disciplinary committee with a simple majority vote of members present at the meeting. Refer to Article V (ii, & iii).
- Following the committee’s report, removal of an officer requires a two-third (2/3) rounded majority of the general assembly.
Section 5.02 Right to Appeal:
- A dismissed member has a right to appeal, and can do so by writing to the general assembly. In hearing such an appeal, the meeting shall elect or appoint a board to re-investigate his or her case and make due an unbiased recommendations.
- The dismissed member shall be present to hear his or her verdict, and where he or she can not be present for reasons beyond his or her control, he or she shall put in writing his or her grievances, and in his or her absence, he or she can appoint a member of the association of his or her choice to stand on his or her behalf.
Section 5.03 Re-admittance of Ex-member:
- Dismissed or suspended member of the association, who after due consideration given another opportunity may be re-admitted to the Association.
- Such member must have demonstrated his or her change in behavior through an open statement to the general house, or must have fulfilled those obligations required by him or her.
Article VI. Meetings and Invitation to Meetings
- The association shall have at least 3 and at most 6 meetings in a calendar year, unless otherwise directed by the Executive Board or there is an Emergency meeting called or “unofficially” requested by any member of the association due to ceremonial reasons, grief or other reasons due to unforeseen circumstances. Such meeting request shall be honored by the members of the association.
- The executive committee with the directive from the Chairman shall decide the date, time and venue of each meeting.
- The quorum at the Ordinary and Annual General Meetings shall be deemed to be formed when 3 (three) members of the Executive and at least 5 (Five) financial members are in attendance.
- The quorum at the Executive Committee meetings shall be at least 3 (Four) executive members with the Chairman or person designated for such role..
- Emergency meetings or any other form of meetings requiring urgency can be communicated through SMS messages or email without long time notice as the case maybe.
Section 6.01 General Meeting
- The association Secretary or any other person in charge shall send meeting circular to registered members either in writing (e.g. Snail mail, email), by text messages or phone calls two weeks before such general meeting. Agenda for meetings shall be attached when sending a circular.
- Any member of the association with good article for discussion may send such topic to the Executive committee to be added in the agenda for deliberations during the meeting.
- Executive decisions shall not be autocratic, if there are more than 51% of the oppositions of any given issue, simple majority will reverse the decision.
- Any member that absent himself/herself more than 4 times from our meeting without genuine reasons shall be considered as a nominal/inactive member.
- Minutes of the meeting shall be prepared and sent to all members after each meeting.
- Each member is eligible to propose or make comment at the meeting at the proper time with permission from the officer in charge.
- All motions shall be proposed and seconded.
- Any motion to vary, add to or alter an original motion shall be regarded as an amendment and shall be proposed and seconded.
Section 6.02 Annual General Meeting
- There shall be in each year an Annual General Meeting.
- The Annual General Meeting shall be held in a place and at a time to be specified by the Executive Committee.
- In such meeting, the following matters shall be handled:
- Chairman’s opening year report.
- Financial Secretary end of the year report.
- Auditors report to the general house.
- In case whereby there was an election of new board, such elected officers shall resume offices from the next month after the election.
- The association shall have a Christmas Party (Pikku Joulu) when it is financially possible.
- Executive officers of the association shall be elected at the general annual meeting or through electronic voting system.
- At least 14 days Notice of the Meeting in writing shall be given where this Constitution is proposed for amendment at such meeting.
Section 6.03 Executive Committee Meetings
- The executive committees of the association shall meet regularly enough to conduct association objectives and fulfill its duties.
- Executive Committee shall meet at such time and at such places as may be determined by the Chairman provided that at least one meeting of the Executive shall be held in each quarter of the year.
- Every meeting of the Committee shall be convened by the General Secretary in consultation with the Chairman by 2 weeks notice in writing given to each member before the meeting. Every such notice shall specify the date, place and hour of the meeting.
- The secretary shall send a reminder one week to the meeting
- The proceedings of any meeting duly and properly convened shall not be invalidated by reason only of :
- The accidental omission to send notice of a meeting to any member.
- Non-receipt or delayed receipt of notice of a meeting by any member.
- When the person absented from the meeting where the decisions where made.
Section 6.04 Hosting of Meeting:
- General meetings of the association shall rotate to different groups.
- The group representative with the help of their group members shall be responsible for organizing such meeting
- The hosting (group) shall secure the place for the meeting and arrange for the members refreshment.
- The specified calendar-mapping of groups to host meeting must be drafted and confirmed six months in advance.
- Hosting of meeting shall be delegated only to groups where at least three or more active/financial members are involved.
- If for any reason, the group playing host could not arrange for the meeting, the group representative must inform the General Secretary two months in advance and shall play host in the next turn.
Article VII. Accounting and Auditing:
- The association must keep complete, current, and accurate financial records. Its members should receive and review timely reports of the association’s financial activities and should have a qualified, independent financial expert to audit or review these statements annually in a manner appropriate to the association’s size and scale of operations.
- The dues/ fee payment shall be set on yearly basis during annual general meeting.
- The Association shall maintain and operate bank account(s) as may be approved by the Association in General Meetings and all finances of the association shall be handled by the association.
- The General assembly shall authorize banking and investments by the Association unless such authority is delegated to the Executive or any other body by the general assembly.
- The bank account shall be operated in conjunction with the Chairman, General Secretary and the Treasurer.
- The signatories shall be the Treasurer and the Chairman or the General Secretary. At least two out of the three can make a withdrawal on behalf of the association.
- All funds received for or on behalf of the association shall be deposited to the association account.
- All financial commitments and withdrawals shall be agreed upon by two-third members of the association or at the discretion of the executives.
- The Association’s audit period is one calendar year.
- Balanced accounts with required documents and an annual report of the executive committee shall be submitted to the auditors at least three weeks before the end of the year’s meeting.
- The financial account shall be presented for auditing by a qualified person or persons as appointed by the association and agreed upon by the members.
- The auditors shall give their written report to the general house on the beginning of the calendar year.
Section 7.01 Strong Financial Oversight
- The association should establish clear, written policies for paying or reimbursing expenses incurred by anyone conducting business or traveling on behalf of the association, including the types of expenses that can be paid for or reimbursed and the documentation required. Such policies should require that travel on behalf of the association is to be undertaken in a cost-effective manner.
- The executive committee should ensure that the association has adequate plans to protect its assets—its properties, financial and human resources, programmatic content and material, and its integrity and reputation—against damage or loss. The committee should review regularly the association’s need for general liability and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, as well as take other actions necessary to mitigate risks.
- The association should not provide loans (or the equivalent, such as loan guarantees, purchasing or transferring ownership of a residence or office, or relieving a debt or lease obligation) to members or officers.
- The association should spend a significant percentage of its annual budget on programs that pursue its mission. The budget should also provide sufficient resources for effective administration of the association, and, if it solicits contributions, for appropriate fundraising activities.
- The association should neither pay for nor reimburse travel expenditures for spouses, dependents or others who are accompanying someone conducting business for the association unless they, too, are conducting such business.
Section 7.02 Responsible Fundraising
- Solicitation materials and other communications addressed to donors and the public must clearly identify the association and be accurate and truthful.
- Contributions must be used for purposes consistent with the donor’s intent, whether as described in the relevant solicitation materials or as specifically directed by the donor.
Article VIII. Election of Officers:
- Election of officers will be done by nomination and volunteering and balloting. To be valid, each nomination and/or volunteering shall be seconded by a voting member.
- At least one candidate shall be nominated for a single post to be filled during the elections. Members in good standing shall have the privilege of presenting additional nominations. Candidates for the Chairman shall be given 5 minutes each to present their manifesto to the general body.
- The candidate is only elected if he or she has gained an absolute majority of votes .
- If elections should be held during the general meeting, it must be announced to members one month before the date. Results of the election must be announced the same day.
- Election of executive members of the association shall be conducted once in two year at the annual meeting.
- The counting of the executives calendar year start from one month after the election till the next election year.
- if a person is absent or could not vote within the parameter defined for a vote, his or voting right is lost at that material time.
- The executive can be re-elected to serve for another tenure if deems fit by the simple majority of members.
- if an executive member is impeached/resigned or left the country before the due date, no election should be held again until the calendar year elapses.
- if the Chairman is impeached/resigned or left the country before the due date, the vice-Chairman thereto takes up the responsibility of the Chairman until that tenure finishes.
- If the vice-Chairman office is vacant, the secretary will be temporarily placed as an acting officer of the vacant seat.
- As deem wise by the executives, some ordinary members may be called in to occupy a vacant position and must be chosen in accordance with the eligibility criteria stipulated in the constitution.
Section 8.01 Voting and Voting Rights:
- At the association meeting, every registered financial member has the right to vie for position or voted for.
- An inactive member has lost his/her rights & privileges in the organization and may not be eligible to vote Refer to Section 14.03 .
- Decision shall be made by the simple majority rule.
- The Chairman shall have original vote but in case of an equality of votes, he / she shall have a casting vote in deliberation of matters.
- In case where votes are tied during the association’s election, this shall be resolved by lot.
- Each member is entitled to one vote.
- Only members who have the right to vote are considered valid electorate.
- All officers, including the Chairman shall be elected with the popular vote of a simple majority.
Section 8.02 Candidate Eligibility
- All candidates for executive posts shall be in good standing.
- The executives of the association should include members with the diverse background (including, but not limited to, ethnic, racial and gender perspectives), experience, and organizational and financial skills necessary to advance the association’s mission.
- He or she must also be an active participant in the association’s activities.
- He or she must have the interest and goodwill of the association at heart and must always protect the interest of the association against all odds.
Section 8.03 Election Process & Result
- The association shall set up mechanism or provide online tools to use in carrying out election to streamline the electoral process.
- The electoral committee shall therefore employ this technology whenever available.
- If E-voting is used to conduct election, the process shall be as follows
- o The online tool shall be made available for a specific time for members to nominate their candidates for separate positions.
- o The nominated candidates will be published online after the deadline.
- o The electoral committee will check the eligibility of the candidates as specified above.
- o The eligible candidates are published online the same day, Before the election, the selected candidates shall therefore have 2days to declare their interest or reject the offer.
- o Candidates for the Chairman shall be given 5 minutes each to present their manifesto to the general body.
- o The confirmed candidates list will be used for designing the e-voting system.
- o Election Results must be published online the same day after the election.
- The election result must be binding as the will of the people except the elected candidate reject the position he or she is elected for .
Article IX. Remuneration
Executive committee and members are generally expected to serve without compensation, other than reimbursement for expenses incurred to fulfill their executive duties. In cases of reimbursement, a proof of receipt or other means approved by the executives is required.
Article X. Tenure of Office
- Each officer’s term is two year for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
- Tenure begins after the swearing-in ceremony during the first meeting of the year following the elections and ends with the swearing-in of new officers.
- An officer after exhausting his tenure for one office may run for a different office.
- To run for the same office after exhausting his tenure twice, an officer has to wait for another two years.
Section 10.01 Leaving office before the expiration of term
- An elected officer wishing to leave office before the end of his/her term of office shall notify the Chairman in writing at least thirty (30) days before departure. Emergency situations are exceptions.
- A member who resigns from an office without following the guidelines stated above, and wishing to continue his/her membership with the association, shall pay a fine of twenty euro (20.00e).
Section 10.02 Handover & Swearing-in Ceremony
- An officer leaving a post shall meet with the new officer and complete handing over documents no later than one week before the swearing-in ceremony .
- Incoming officers will be sworn-in during the first meeting of the New Year by the existing executives and the Chairman of the electoral committee in an official manner.
Article XI. Duties and Obligations of Members:
The duties of a member shall include, but are not limited to:
- Attendance and punctuality to meetings and any other activities that involve the Union shall be paramount to each member
- Keeping all information concerning cases confidential.
- Shall participate in any activities and perform duties assigned to him/her in fulfilling the task of the association.
- All Association activities shall be aimed to benefit all Nigerian students in Finland
- It is the duty of every member to uphold and promote the ideals of the Union.
- Every member shall pay his/her dues and levies that the Union deem necessary.
- Every member shall partake in all activities of the Union and be prepared to take up any responsibility that the Union may from time to time determine.
Article XII. Composition of Executive Committee:
The executive committee should have enough members to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other associational matters. The association activities shall therefore be directed by the constituted executive committee which is elected (biannually).
The Executive committee shall be made up of:
- The Chairman
- The Vice Chairman
- General Secretary
- Assistant Secretary
- Financial Secretary
- Public Relations Officer(1)
- Public Relations Officer(2)
- Director of Socials
Section 12.01 Duties of the executive branch
(a) The Chairman:
The duties of the Chairman shall include, but are not limited to:
- Presiding over all meetings of the General assembly and executive committee.
- Enforcing the rules and upholding the constitution, policies, rules and regulations governing the association at all times.
- Overseeing the efficient operation of the committee structure and the general operation of the association.
- Preparing the agenda for all meetings with the assistance of his/her executives.
- Determining a time and need for regular executive or general meetings with the majority consent of all members present.
- Fulfilling the rights and duties of a Chairman.
- The association’s Chairman shall posses the quality of good leadership.
- He/she will be able to take control and co-ordinates other members of the Executive committee as well as the general house.
- He/she shall be focused, organized, be able to run the affairs of the Association without fear or favor.
- He/she shall organizes and co-ordinates the activities and events of the Association.
- He/she shall summons all general and executive meetings and administers the day to day affairs of the Association.
- He/she shall solicit for projects and recommends them to the general assembly.
- He/she shall implement decisions and other matters as recommended by the general assembly.
- He/she has the right to appoint any member of the association to chair any gathering of the association.
- The Executive committee forms a quorum when the Chairman or Vice Chairman and two other members of the Executive committee are present.
- The Chairman is a signatory to the association’s account. He/she must hold at least a student residence permit or other permit in Finland.(not visit visa)
- He/she shall call for an Executive committee meetings or general meetings when he/she considers it necessary or when any other member of the Executive committee demand so.
- He/she presides over planning and strategy at committee meetings.
- He/ she shall be responsible for all duties not defined under any other executive duties, the duties shall be performed by the Chairman or delegated to other members of the executives as the Chairman deems fit
- He /she shall be accountable for policies not implemented or procedures not followed.
- In the absence of the Chairman, the first Vice Chairman (1) assumes the position.
(b) The Vice Chairman:
The duties of the Vice Chairman(s) shall include, but are not limited to:
- Presiding over meetings of the association in the absence of the Chairman.
- Assist the Chairman in his/her duties.
- Advising the Chairman upon questions of bylaws and case procedure which may arise in association meetings.
- Fulfilling the rights and duties of a vice-Chairman.
- The vice-Chairman has the duty to deputize for the Chairman at all times.
- The vice-Chairman (1) shall chair all meetings in the absence of the Chairman and vice-Chairman (2) shall assist the vice-Chairman (1) in such case.
- He/she shall act in place of the Chairman to call for an executive meeting or general meeting if delegated by the Chairman or if the Chairman is absent.
- The vice -Chairman shall as a duty uphold the constitution, policies, rules and regulations governing the association at all times and in the absence of the Chairman, he/she shall be accountable for policies not implemented or procedures not followed.
- Shall assist the Chairman on the day-to-day running of the association
- The Association Secretary shall be responsible for the writing of minutes of all meetings whether on Executive or in a General Assembly level.
- He or she shall keep and maintain all official records concerning the Association.
- He or she shall be conversant with the rules at all time and read or interpret such rule when the need arises.
- Shall keep updated information on any transactions of relevance to the association
- The Secretary will summon meetings or gatherings of any such with directives coming from the Chairman or other authority.
- In the absence of the Chairman and the vice Chairman’s, the Secretary takes the podium to chair the meeting.
- The Secretary and assistant secretary shall be committed members as they are the eye of the Association and the success of the Association largely rests on their input and participation.
- Shall be responsible for handling all the incoming and outgoing mails on behalf of the association
(d) Assistant Secretary:
- In absence of the Secretary, the assistant Secretary will act in taking the minutes of the meeting.
- Shall assist the secretary at all times
- Shall carry the full task of the secretary when the quality of secretary services is no longer acceptable by the member.
(e) Financial Secretary:
- The financial activities of the association shall be recorded and saved by the Financial Secretary.
- All disbursement should be approved by the Chairman, secretary and financial secretary.
- He or she shall be able to maintain a good record book, where all financial matters are entered for reference purposes when needed.
- He or she shall as well keep receipts of all purchases, record all dues received, payments made as well as fines collected, or any other monies received or levied for whatever purpose(s).
- He or she shall be accountable to the Chairman on the financial position of the Association.
- He or she shall be able to present to the house at any meeting the financial statement of the Association. Three weeks to the end of the year’s general meeting, the Financial Secretary should prepare his record book for the Auditor’s clarifications.
- The treasurer shall keep a proper account of all monetary transactions and delivers an annual report at the general meeting.
- Shall keep money for and on behalf of the Association and shall keep accurate record of same.
- Shall deposit money collected from the Financial Secretary in a bank account for the Association as approved by the members, within 5 days of collection.
- Shall return all lodgment documents to the financial secretary for keeping and record.
- Shall keep an impress account of not more than 100.00euro
- Shall be a signatory to all financial transactions of the Association.
(g) Public Relations Officer 1 and 2:
- The Public Relations Officers who also act as a provost shall use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of the Association.
- He or she communicate key messages, often using third party endorsements to defined target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between the Association and the public.
- shall be responsible for preparing and designing posters for all the activities organized by the association.
- He or she shall monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of the Association’s stakeholders.
- He or she shall then report and explain the findings to the Association.
- He or she shall be involved in fostering community relations through events such as open days & orientation and through involvement in community initiatives.
(h) Director of Socials:
Whenever the Association engages in any kind of social performance/activities
- He or she shall be in charge of all social activities of the Association and account for all funds associated with these responsibilities..
- He or she shall head the committee for various duties assigned to them, such events like parties, refreshment during meetings and any other kind of social event.
- He or she shall keep good account of material or items meant for the association.
- Shall be responsible for arranging and organizing for the big event and social activities of the association (conferences, workshop, conventions and seminars)
- Shall liaise with the General Secretary on all social matters.
- Shall perform other functions as delegated to him/her by the house.
Article XIII. Select or Special Committee
A select or special committee of the association is an association committee appointed to perform a special function that is not within the capacity of a standing executive committee.
The special committees of the association are as follows:
- Project Implementation Committee(headed by Director of Special projects)
- Disciplinary Committee
- General Advisory Committee
- Special Audit Committee
- Legal Advisory Committee
- Fund Raising Committee(finance Committee)
- Electoral Committee
- Executive Committee
(a) Project Implementation Committee:
- Shall be headed by The Director of Special Projects.
- The Director of Special Projects shall be an elective post
- Shall be accountable to the executives
- Shall collate areas of developmental needs (as identified & suggested by members) & report same to the house for action.
- Shall coordinate the implementation of approved projects.
- Shall abide by the rules guiding such project
(b) Disciplinary Committee
- Disciplinary committee shall be appointed at a General Meeting where 2/3rd majority of financial members are present by open ballot system.
- Such committee (hereinafter referred to as “The Disciplinary committees”) shall be five in number.
- The committee thus appointed shall hold office for 1 year but a committee member shall cease to hold office if he / she:-
- Resigns his office in writing to the Association.
- Is convicted of criminal activities by a law court.
- Is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
- Is recommended for removal from office by a simple majority of financial members that are present at the General Meeting where special notice has been given to that Director proposed to be removed.
- Where a vacancy occurs in the office of the disciplinary committee, a new eligible person shall be appointed at the General Meeting following the creation of the vacancy.
(c) General Advisory Committee
- Not an elective post
- Shall be appointed by the new executive
- Shall be an advisory role
- Shall be any two (2) members of the past executives
- Shall attend all the meetings of the Executive and perform such duties as the Executive Committee of the Association shall assign to them from time to time.
(d) Special Audit Committee
- The auditor shall be by appointment and not an elective post.
- Shall be knowledgeable in accounting and a person of proven integrity
- Shall be responsible for auditing the account of the Association, giving three days notice to the appropriate officers.
- Shall audit the association accounts every six-months
- Shall prepare and submit the report of his findings to the Annual General Meeting.
(e) Legal Advisory committee
- Shall be by appointment
- At least two out of five members of constitution review should form part of the legal advisers
- Shall be conversant with our constitution and knowledgeable in law
- Shall be responsible for interpreting and advising the Association where there is any ambiguity in this Constitution or with any other related matters.
- Could be an honorary member of the association.
(f) Electoral Committee
An electoral committee of three to five (3-5) members will be nominated and approved by the general assembly during the general meeting and dissolved immediately after swearing-in. If the election is done in a general meeting, the electoral committee members will be charged with:
- Checking the eligibility of the candidates.
- Conducting and supervising the elections.
- Overseeing the handover.
- Swearing in the elected officers (by the Chairman of the committee or any other member of the committee incase of the Chairman’s absence)
- Shall follow any electoral by-laws set up by the association.
(g) Executive Committee
- The executive committee should establish an effective, systematic process for educating and communicating with members to ensure that they are aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities, are knowledgeable about the programs and activities of the association, and can carry out their oversight functions effectively.
- Executive members should evaluate their performance as a group and as individuals no less frequently than every six month, and should have clear procedures for removing executive members who are unable to fulfill their responsibilities.
- The executive Committee should review organizational and governing instruments no less frequently than every one year.
- The executive Committee should establish and review regularly the organization’s mission and goals and should evaluate, no less frequently than every two years, the organization’s programs, goals and activities to be sure they advance its mission and make prudent use of its resources.
(h) General Assembly
The duties of a member shall include, but are not limited to:
- Attending all regular and special meetings, and hearings, of the Association.
- Keeping all information concerning cases confidential.
- Shall participate in any activities and perform duties assigned to him/her in fulfilling the task of the association.
- All Association activities shall be aimed to benefit all Nigerian students in Finland.
Article XIV. Full Membership Benefits:
Section 14.01 Members fundamental Rights:
The financial members of the association shall be granted all benefit that the association provides, therefore shall have the
- Right to vote for APU leaders (Full members only)
- Right to hold APU office (Full members only)
- Right to serve as an APU committee chair (Full members only)
- Right to serve as an APU committee member
- Right to be recognized/to receive APU awards without bias of religion, sex, tribe or gender.
- Right to be visited in good or bad circumstance( Marriage, Child delivery, Sickness, death, anniversary and other events)
- Right to be given any entitlement mapped out for such event defined in Section 14.02
- Honoring of invitations by the Union on social events if invited officially
- The association shall defend the rights of members of the Association through legal means when necessary.
Section 14.02 Members Privileges:
- Child Birth: On the event of a child birth / Naming ceremony of a member and the Union is officially informed, the Union will send delegate to visit the family either in the hospital or at home as may be preferred by such member. The delegate will present a gift worth fifty euro (€50) to the family.
- Naming Ceremony: A financial member’s child naming ceremony, whereby the Union is officially invited, the Union will attend in group, sing, dance and present to the family a gift of a hundred euro (€100). Each member is entitled to only one visit.
- Marriage: A marriage involving a financial member if officially informed to the Union will be attended in a group. The Union will sing and dance for the married couple. The Union will present a gift of cash of two hundred euro (€200). Individual members may as well present their own gifts to the married couple.
- Sickness: If some reasons a financial member falls sick and is hospitalized, it is the duty of the Union to delegate some members to visit such member from time to time depending on the extent of such stay in the hospital. Provisions and card will be presented to such member not exceeding 50 euro (€50). If on a serious concern involving financial help the Union will meet to deliberate on how much to spend in supporting such member. Such funding should be levied to members as a voluntary support to a member and should be honored.
- Death: In case of death of a financial member, the Union must convey the corpse down to his/her own town in Nigeria provided the family of the deceased member wishes so.
- In achieving this, the union will work hand in hand with ASA Group insurance company or insurance of the family of the deceased to gather enough resources that will facilitate in carrying out the last respect to our membership. The family will be presented with a condolence support of (€1500)
- If a financial member is bereaved of either of his or her parents, the union shall perform a condolence visit by designating two to three members to visit the bereaved. he Union will present a gift of cash of a hundred euro (€500)
- If a financial member is bereaved of either of his or her brother or sister, the union shall perform a condolence visit by designating two to three members to visit the bereaved. he Union will present a gift of cash of a hundred euro (€250)
- If a financial member is bereaved of either of his or her son, daughter or wife, the union shall perform a condolence visit by designating two to three members to visit the bereaved. he Union will present a gift of cash of a hundred euro (€1000)
- Hard working member : Any member/members, who distinguish himself/herself/themselves through hard work towards the uplifting of the Union’s objectives and ideals will be rewarded through the consultation of the Executive Board in cash or kind for example (awarding certificate).
Section 14.03 Limited rights of a Non-financial/Nominal/Inactive member
The nominal members or non-financial member, shall have a limited right in matters concerning the association, therefore
- He/she shall not have right to vote during general meetings.
- He/she shall not hold any office.
- He/she shall not be accorded member privileges or basic rights (e.g.) if there is member benefit accorded to financial members in any event organized by the organization.
- He/she shall cease to be a member after two years of absence or failed dues.
- In this case, he/she will re-register as a new member and will be considered as one in relations to all rules guiding new members.
- The non financial member may be visited by members in event defined in Section 14.02 (4 & 5) but not as a union and the entitlement may not be given to such non financial member .
SECTION 14.04 Soft loan to full members of the association
The Anambra State Association Finland can offer financial assistance to her member(s) through a soft loan with strict terms for repayment.
A soft loan may be granted to a member with credible reason(s) provided he/she fulfils the following requirements:
- Has been a member of the union for at least two (2) financial years;
- Has an attendance rate of at least seventy five percent (75%) during the said period;
- Must be financially up to date;
- Must meet up with other union’s obligatory duties (ie. committed member);
- Must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan by presenting a verifiable source of income.
Amount: The amount of loan to be given to such member shall not be more than five hundred euro (500€) depending on the income of the applicant and the resources of the union.
Period and Loan Terms: The maximun period of loan payment shall be two (2) months from the date such loan is approved.
Undertaking: Any member who meets the above criteria and wishes to apply for financial loan may obtain an Application Form from the secretary of the association. Such member shall duly fill the form, and signed by two (2) guarantors who are also members of the association.
*No more than two members of APU can be granted loan within one fiscal year.
Article XV. Disciplinary Measures:
- Each member shall conduct himself/herself in a civilized manner and extend such respect to other members.
- The association should establish and implement policies and procedures that enable individuals to come forward with information on illegal practices or violations of association policies. This “whistleblower” policy should specify that the association will not retaliate against, and will protect the confidentiality of, individuals who make good-faith reports.
- There shall be no fighting, foul language, gossiping, noise making, distraction, drunkenness while the meeting is in session.
- It is the duty of the Provost(s) to maintain and charge any act of indiscipline during meetings and any other official gathering.
- The following are considered act of indiscipline and shall attract financial penalties as follows:-
- Noise making: Any member(s) having side talks or challenging a speaker without appropriate permission to speak thereby distracting or obstructing during meeting session will be deemed as an act of noise making and shall be liable to a fine of 2euros (€2) by the Provost.
- The Chairman or Vice Chairman has the power to fine any noisemaker.
- Late coming: Any member coming thirty minutes from the time the meeting started will be considered as a late comer and will be liable to a fine of 2 Euros (€2).
- Absent from Meeting: Any member absent from meeting or any official gathering without proper permission or explanation will be charged absentee fee of 10 Euros (€10).
- It is a big offence for any member(s) to engage in physical fight either in any official gathering or outside. Such defaulters shall be charged a non refundable fine of 50 Euros (€50) each. Fighting cases shall be handled by the Disciplinary Committee which will recommend appropriate punishment against the offender(s) to the general assembly.
Article XVI. Office and Records:
- The association should establish and implement policies and procedures to protect and preserve the organization’s important documents and business records.
- The principal office of the organization shall be located at the domicile address of the Chairman or the general secretary until such a time when a permanent location is determined and established by the executive Committee, and approved by the general membership
- The organization shall keep and maintain, correct and complete books, records of accounts and minutes of the proceedings of the general meeting and executive Committee meetings. The organization shall maintain at its registered office and principal office a record of names, addresses and telephone numbers of the members and copies of document that are circulated to all members by the secretary.
- All official correspondences to the organization shall be directed to the general secretary of the organization.
- The executive Committee shall adopt, and may alter with approval from the general body, a corporate seal, which shall be circular in form and have inscribed thereon the name of the organization.
- The fiscal year of the organization shall commence on the 1st of January and run through December 31 of each year.
Section 16.01 Common Seal
- The common seal of the Association shall indicate the Association’s name incorporated with the Motto and Logo.
- The common seal shall be in the custody of the Chairman or the Secretary.
- The common seal shall be released for the use of the Directors at the request of the General Secretary or the Assistant General Secretary or the Director of Projects.
Article XVII. Interpretation
Where there is any ambiguity in this Constitution, the Executive Committee in consultation with the Legal Advisory committees shall interpret the Constitution after careful consideration of the various submissions by interested parties.
Article XVIII. Amendments & Dissolution:
- These constitutions may be altered or amended in whole or in part by a vote of two-third (2/3) of the voting members present in person at the Annual general meeting provided the notice of the meeting at which such action is proposed shall be given to each voting member in person, or by mail, postage pre-paid or through phone at least thirty (30) days prior but not more than forty-five (45) days before the meeting is held.
- The Association in general meeting is the only supreme body that can amend the provisions of this Constitution by allowing the members to deliberate and vote freely on such issues; provided that Notice of such amendment shall have been issued in accordance with the provisions of Article §14(I) 17(I).
- The association shall not be dissolved if at least one financial member of the association still wants it to continue.
- Proposal for dissolution of the Association shall be mentioned in the invitation for meeting.
- When the association or any subgroup within the association is dissolved, its assets shall be used to promote the association’s aim in the way required by the meeting. When the association is suppressed, the funds shall be used for the same aim.
Article XIX. Appendix
- Non-political entity – not of, dealing with, or relating to politics
- General Assembly – the general financial members of the association
- Nominal member – a member only in name not active in the association
- Resignee – an executive member who want to leave his or her office for some reason before the expiry of his or her tenure
- Quorum – a number of people that must be present to make valid the proceedings of a committee or meeting
- Special committee – committee appointed to perform a special function that is not within the capacity of a standing executive committee.
Constitution Extracts and Signatories
Union Name: Constitution of Association of Anambra State Association Finland (APU)
Reference Code: APU-1(13112010)
Version: First draft (1) Date: 12/10/10
Year/Date Adopted: 13/11/2011
Constitution Committee Members: Anthony Claret & Ifeanyi Obimdike
This Constitution is hereby adopted on this day of November 11, 20011 to be effective at once. In the Presence of:
Position Name Signature/Date
Constitution Committee (1)
Constitution Committee (2)
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