Constitution of Isoko Association of New York

This constitution was first adopted in 1994 and revised on 31 May 1997. The present version incorporates further amendments introduced and adopted on 21 April, 2007. Details on the founding members of the Association are in the annex to the present version of the constitution.

Preamble

We, the people of Isoko of Nigeria origin, hereby resolve to form an organization that could meet, and discuss, plan and suggest improvements to our members and work towards the interests of our sons and daughter in the United States of America and at home. The name of the organization shall be known and called Isoko Association of New York (IANY).
The establishment of the Isoko Association of New York is an expression of the hopes and aspirations of the people of Isoko in the United States of America. Our major goal is to improve out social, educational and economic well-being, and to foster strong communal ties within the Isoko community.
We seek the fulfillment of these hopes and aspirations though legal means within the frame work of the constitutional government of the United States consistent with its consistent with its constitutions and practices.
In pursuit of the academic, social and economic advancement of our community, we shall responsibly serve the interests of the members of our community.

Adoption

First Reading:     December 16, 2006
Second Reading: February 24, 2007
Adopted:                April 21, 2007

Objective

Our objectives it to be united; help one another; and to cater for the general interest of all. To help formulate economic and viable interest for ourselves, educational programs for our sons and daughters.
To take measures within its competence and resources to ameliorate the conditions of, or to assist in alleviating problems if any affecting individual Isokos in general.

Offices

The principal office of the Association shall be in the City of New York, County of Kings, and State of New York.
The Association may also have offices at such other places within or without this state as the board may from time to time determine or the business of the corporation may require.

Purposes

The purposes for which this corporation has been organized are as follows:
To take measures within its competence and resources to ameliorate the conditions of, or to assist in alleviating problems, if any, affecting individual Isokos IN THE TRISTATE OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND CONNECTICUT in general.
 
The following rules and regulations shall form the constitution of the Isoko Association of New York.

Pioneers

1. ABAKPA, CHARLES
2. EMIDI, JONES
3.  IDHE, ANDREW
4.  ISAGBA, TITUS
5.  OBAHOR, PAUL
6.  ODHOVO, MARTINS
7.  OGBEDOBOR, GORDON
8.  OHORE, JOEY
9.  OGELEZA, SHADRACK
10. OJADA, DIAMOND
11. OYOGHO, BENJAMIN

Membership

Certain criteria has to be met before one can be a member of the Association and members have to abide by certain rules and regulations for continual membership.

Criteria

1. An Isoko by birth.
2. By traditional naturalization.
3. By marriage.
4. Registration requirements for new members shall consist of non-refundable fee of $10.00, kola nuts, and two months’ dues in advance of $25.00 per month for men and $15.00 per month for women.

Rules

1. Members shall not be involved in any criminal activity or conspire with any individual to commit any act considered to be criminal.
2.  Members shall accept the aims, objectives, principles, fundamental values, policies and programs of the association.
3. Members shall pay the prescribed registration fee and monthly membership dues, when due.

Rights & Obligations

  1. Every member shall pay such fee levies as may, from time to time, be prescribed by the general membership or any other body authorized to do so by the general membership.
  2. Upon registration, a member shall be deemed to have:
    • Accepted to abide by the provisions of this constitution as well as the policies, programs and ides of the organization.
    • Accepted to abide by all rules, regulations, directives and decisions of the organization or any of its organs.
    • Accepted to promote the aims objectives of the organization loyally and to refrain form pursuing any course of action as may be inconsistent with or inimical to the provision of the constitution.Members shall refrain from personal attacks, the use of abusive languages and other disruptive behavior during meetings.
  3. Every member shall have the right to actively participate in the activities and discussions of the organization provided such a member is in good financial standing and subject to any other qualification, rules and regulations or provisions of this constitution.
  4. Every member shall have the right to vote during any election provided such member is and has been active continuously for twelve calendar months as a financial member. A member in good financial standing is one who is up to date in the payment of his dues or other assessments. A new member shall not contest for a position until she/he completes two years of membership in good standing.
    • Every member shall have the right to vote and/or be voted for provided such a member is in good financial standing
    • A financial member is one who is up to date in the payment of her/his dues/ or other assessment money. A member shall not be allowed to owe dues/assessment beyond six months
    • A member who owes dues/money up to 12 calendar months and above forfeits his/her membership of the Isoko Association of New York.
    • Any member who left the organization and wants to rejoin within five years shall be required to pay all previous arrears, including all dues he would have paid had he functioned as a member for the period he was away.
    • Non-financial members shall not be entitled to any of the benefits of membership

Structure of Association

The association shall consist of the general meetings and executive committee.

Powers of the General Meetings

The general meetings shall consist of the members as defined in Article 3 and shall be vested with the following powers:

  1. Chief legislative organ of the association.
  2. Shall elect all officers.
  3. Shall dismiss officers only after a written charge is submitted and approved by at least two third majority of members.
  4. Shall receive, discuss and decide on the Annual Statements, Annual Reports of the officials.
  5. Shall review and approve that actions or resolutions of the executive committee by a simple majority vote, except in cases of emergencies. Dates of general meetings shall be determined by the executive committee and members shall be dully informed.
  6. The meeting shall be held once every month at a date and place designated by the President and the General Secretary.

The Executive Committee

  1. The executive committee shall consist of all the elected officers of the Isoko Association of New York
  2. The executive committee shall be the governing body of this Isoko Association of New York.  It is authorized and empowered to take such action and render such decisions as may be necessary to carry out fully and adequately the decisions and instructions of the general membership and to enforce the provisions contained in the constitution.
  3. The executive committee shall meet upon the call of the president when necessary or in an emergency situation.
  4. The executive committee shall prepare and present to the general meeting in printed from a statement of all matters of interest to the members.
  5. The executive committee is empowered to enforce disciplinary action as may be recommended by the chairperson and the general membership on disorderly conduct during meeting.

Officers' Rights & Duties

  1. The officers shall consist of a President, Vice President, General Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary and Speaker.
  2. Each other officer shall be registered member of the organization.
  3. The officers shall be elected by the general meeting, by written ballot on the basis of one man one vote. Nomination shall take place on the floor.
  4. The executive officers shall be elected by majority vote. In the event that more than two candidates are nominated for a position and no one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, all expect two candidates receiving the highest votes shall be eliminated from the list of candidates and a second vote taken. The fiscal year will be from October to -September.
  5. Each officer elected at the general election shall take office immediately, and shall serve until a successor is elected. However, the term of office of the elected officer shall be 4 years. The election shall be held in the month of June.
  6. In the event of a vacancy of the position of President by reason of death, resignation or otherwise, the Vice-President shall perfume the duties of the President until a successor is elected during the next general election.
  7. In the event of a vacancy of officer’s position except that of the president as a result of resignation, death, or relocation from the United States, the executive committee shall have the power to nominate a candidate who will confirmed by the general membership by majority vote of members for the period of the unexpired term.

The President

  1. The president shall function as the chief executive officer of the Isoko Association New York. He shall exercise supervision over the affair of the Association and preside at regular and special meetings of he executive committee and general meetings.
  2. The president shall have the authority to interpret the constitution between meetings of the executive committee and the general meetings. Her/his interpretation shall be conclusive, in full force or changed by the executive committee or general meetings.
  3. The appointment, compensation, suspension and removal of member of the organization shall be under the directive of the President. However, all actions must be approved by the executive committee and ratified by the general meetings.
  4. The President shall submit annual report during end of each fiscal year.
  5. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Isoko Association of New York.
  6. The President shall preside at all general meetings of the Isoko Association of New York as well as executive meetings.
  7. The President shall have deciding vote.
  8. The President shall summon executive meetings, general meetings and any necessary general / emergency meetings.
  9. The President shall be a signatory to the bank accounts
  10. The President shall receive a copy of the auditor’s reports before the last general meetings of the year.
  11. The President shall call on the Treasurer to submit the last bank statement whenever it is necessary.
  12. The President shall receive from the secretary and the Treasurer reports one month prior to the next meeting.

The Vice President

  1. The Vice President shall chair meetings of the association and executive committee in the absence of the president.
  2. The Vice President shall coordinate and report to the executive committee all activities of the Association.
  3. The Vice President shall perform such duties as may be delegated by the president.

The Secretary General

  1. The secretary general shall issue the call for and act as secretary at the executive meetings, and shall cause the proceedings of all general meetings to be recorded.
  2. The secretary general to furnish all members with a copy of al official reports issued by the Association.
  3. The secretary general shall prepare the order of business for meetings of the general membership with the approval of the executive committee.
  4. The secretary general shall, in the event of her/his resignation, hand over to the president or the president’s designee, all records files and properties of the organization in his possession.
  5. The secretary general shall oversee all properties, books, files, and effects of the Association which shall at all time be subject to the inspection of the committee.

The Financial Secretary

  1. The Financial Secretary shall be the chief financial officer of the Association.
  2. The Financial Secretary shall collect all moneys as required by Isoko Association of New York and hand over to the Treasurer for deposit into the Isoko Association of New York accounts.

The Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer shall receive all monies due Isoko Association of New York.
  2. All funds collected must be deposited within five business days into the association’s account.
  3. All deposit slips must be endorsed by the president in the next general meeting.
  4. The Treasurer shall reconcile the Associations bank statement on a monthly basis and present it to the general meetings.
  5. The Treasurer shall be requires to provide for a periodic audit of all books accounts, records and financial transactions of the organization by an independent public accountant or persons appointed by the executive committee. Such audits shall be furnished to the general membership.
  6. The Treasurer shall provide annually a financial statement of the organization and forward a copy to all members.
  7. The Treasurer’s term of office shall not exceed 4 years.

The Publicity & Social Secretary

  1. The Publicity and Social Secretary shall be responsible for all press releases as deemed fit by the committee.
  2. The Publicity and Social Secretary shall publicize the organization’s activities as approved by the executive committee.
  3. The Publicity and Social Secretary shall play the role of the general secretary whenever the general secretary is absent.
  4. The Publicity and Social Secretary shall search for publicize beneficial information for the common interest of the Isoko Association of New York.
  5. The Publicity and Social Secretary shall carry out fully and adequately the decisions and instructions of the general meetings and to enforce the provisions contained in this Constitution. Between general meetings, he shall have the power to execute the affairs of the Isoko Association of New York and to take such actions and render decisions as are necessary and appropriate to safe guard and promote the best interests of the Isoko Association of New York in consultation with the President.

The Speaker

  1. The speaker shall keep and maintain order during executive and general meetings.
  2. The speaker shall be voting member of the executive committee.
  3. The speaker is required to work closely with the chairperson during meeting to maintain orderly proceedings.
  4. The speaker shall be the Spokesman for the I.A.NY during meetings and special occasions.

Conducting Meeting

  1. The President at a meeting shall be entitled at his discretion to dispense with the requirement to give notice of a motion in any case where it is necessary for reasons of urgency to do so.
  2. A motion shall not be open for discussion until it ha been seconded.
  3. A motion may be withdrawn at any time at the request of the mover and with the knowledge of the President.
  4. A member shall be permitted to speak on any subject at any meeting for no longer than 5 minutes unless the majority of members present agree hat a member should speak for a longer time.
  5. A member must confine his observations to the subject under discussion and may not introduce irrelevant matter thereto.
  6. No member shall be permitted to reopen any specific matter upon which conclusion has need reached, except upon a motion for which due notice shall have been given.
  7. No member shall use offensive, insulting or intemperate language about another member of the organization, or impute improper motive to such member.
  8. A member desiring to speak shall put his/her hand, sitting in his/he place and shall not rise to speak until he/she is called upon by the speaker. A member who has spoken on the subject earlier may again be heard at the discretion of the speaker to offer explanation on some material part of his/her speech which has been misunderstood.
  9. The provision of paragraph (h) above shall not apply to meeting of the executive committee or subcommittees.
  10. Any member deviating from any of the provisions of these rules may be immediately called to order by the president or by a member rising to a point of order.
  11. A membership rising to a point of order shall simply direct attention to the point he/she desired to bring to notice and submit it to the president for a decision.
  12. No member shall leave any meeting except with the permission of the president.
  13. Any member whose conduct is disorderly at any meeting or who refuses to withdraw an offensive or insulting language after he/she has been told by the chairman to do so, may subject to disciplinary action.
  14. Unless the constitution prescribes otherwise, voting on any subject shall be by show of hands.

Discipline of Members

Discipline of organization members shall be exercised by the executive committee.
Any member who is alleged to have done any of the following shall be liable for corrective action:

  1. Indulge in any activity considered criminal in the United States.
  2. A breach of any provision of this constitution.
  3. Anti-organization’s activities of conducting oneself in a manner which is likely to embarrass the organization or bring the organization into hatred, contempt, ridicule or dispute in whatever manner.
  4. Negligence in carrying out Isoko Association of New York’s directives.
  5. Flouting the rules of decisions of the Isoko Association of New York, engaging in dishonest practices, defrauding the organization, continuously being absent at meetings, carrying our anti-organization propaganda, or any other activities which tent to disrupt the peaceful running of the Isoko Association of New York of whose activities are inconsistent with the achievement of the aims and objectives of the Isoko Association of New York.
  6. Assuming names and titles not recognized by this constitution, giving wrong information to any organ of the Isoko Association of New York or unauthorized publicity of the organization’s dispute without exhausting all avenues of settlement or redress within the Isoko Association of New York.
  7. Attend meetings when scheduled regularly except when sick or travel on business, emergency, or home leave. In either case the president or the secretary general must be in formed.
  8. Be punctual to meetings. Lateness of more than 30 minutes will attract a penalty of two dollars and absence without informing the president or the secretary general will attract a penalty of five dollars

Corrective Action

  1. Corrective action may be imposed by the Isoko Association of New York as a disciplinary measure against any of its members and the gravity of corrective action shall depend on the seriousness and circumstances of each case.
  2. Corrective action to be imposed may take the form of:
    • Expulsions from the Isoko Association of New York
    • Suspension for a specified period
    • Removal from office
    • Debarring from holding office
    • Fine.
  3. The executive committee shall have the power to decide on any of the disciplinary measures against any of Isoko Association of New York member as specified in subsection 2 above.
  4. Every member shall have the right of fair hearing in all matters that affect one with regard to discipline.
  5. The entire Isoko Association of New York membership shall be notified in writing of all disciplinary actions taken against any member of the Isoko association of New York and the record of such actions shall be kept.

Appeal

  • Any member aggrieved by a decision of the Isoko Association of New York or any of its organs, shall have the right of appeal within thirty (30) days of the decision to a general meeting where decisions shall be final.

Bank Account

  1. The organization shall maintain bank accounts in New York State. That bank shall be made known to the general meetings by the treasurer.
  2. The banks for such accounts shall be decided by the executive committee.
  3. The following officers of the organization shall be the signatories to the Isoko Association of New York s bank account.
    • The President
    • The Secretary General
    • The Treasurer
  4. Any amount above $500 shall be signed by any two of the above officers to meet the requirement of valid withdrawals from Isoko Association of New York’s bank accounts.

Account Audit

  • The general meeting shall appoint two members who are knowledgeable in accounts to audit all the accounts of the Isoko Association of New York yearly and present the audited accounts before the general membership. The appointed two persons shall not be members of the executive committee

Support of Members

Bereavement

  • In case the of death of a Member and unmarried children up to the age of 21;  the family of such a member shall, in addition to  contribution from  individual members of the association,  receive the sum of $2,000.00 from the association.
  • If a parent (mother/father) of a member passes on, we console them with $200.00, a bottle of gin and kola nut.

Disaster

  • In the event of a disaster, or any exceptional circumstance members shall convene an emergency meeting of the association in order to evaluate the situation.

Delivery of a baby

  • $200.00, a bottle of gin and kola nut.

Amendments

  1.  Any member of the organization shall have the right to amend this constitution or any of its components provided the member must have obtained two-thirds signatures of the I.A.NY. entire membership.
  2. Notice of the proposed amendment shall be given to the general secretary two months before the date of a general meeting. The notice shall be in writing, shall contain a clear statement of the amendment and reasons for the amendment.
  3. Notice of the proposed amendment shall be given to the members of the executive committee one month before meeting the General Secretary.

Interpretation

  • Any question concerning the interpretation of any section of this constitution or the schedule hereto shall be referred to the executive committee whose ruing shall be final.

Officers' Swearing In

  • The President will be sworn in holding a copy of the Constitution on one hand and a gavel on the other hand. The president, thereafter, will swear the other officers in individually or collectively, each holding a copy of the Constitution.

Entry Into Force

  • With divine guidance, grateful for the fine traditions of our past, confident or meeting the challenges of the future; we proclaim this constitution as a vehicle in deliberating and performing our respective duties for the progress and prosperity of our beloved Isoko Association of New York.