The National Basketball Federation of T&T (NBFTT) and the North Zone Basketball Commission (NZBC) is at loggerheads as either side is accusing the other of mismangement with their respective arms of the organisations.
on Monday, in a release, the NBFTT headed by Claire Mitchell advised the NZBC to re-do its annual general meeting (AGM) after its board of directors had voted that the zone's AGM on June 26, were not aligned with the Constitutional and Zonal Regulation requirements and that the NBFTT only recognises, the elected members of December 2018, until a constitutional 2021 AGM is conducted.
According to the release: "On June 11, 2021, the North Zone Chairman – Alexis Browne submitted a zonal report and AGM update outlining the proposed process for the scheduled AGM. At the June 12, 2021, Statutory Meeting the Secretariat informed Mr Browne of specific irregularities in the report and followed by letter dated June 21, 2021."
In the NBFTT's letter to the NZBC it cited two Articles of the constitution - Article 8.2 of the Zonal Regulations prescribes that Clubs have the opportunity to nominate persons in writing up to three days prior and at the AGM.
According to the NBFTT: "The North Zone letter communicated a cutoff date of seven days prior for written and prevented nominations at the AGM."
The other, Article 21.1: requires that the notice of AGM and Papers for discussion be circulated not less than 14 days prior.
"However, the North Zone’s Report outlined that: 'Reports will be circulated from June 21, 2021 for zonal interrogation and to ensure timely operation of the AGM.'
The release continued: "Despite several letters and reminders from the NBFTT offering to assist with addressing the stated irregularities prior to the AGM, there was no response from the Zone’s Executive. The results of the AGM were posted in the Guardian on July 2, 2021 and the NBFTT was informed on July 5, 2021 of the outcome.
"On July 6, 2021 the NBFTT informed the zone that the new executive could not be recognised unless Minutes and other requested documents were provided to ascertain that the AGM was constitutionally conducted. The zone has been unresponsive to the NBFTT’s request and has not been represented at the July, August or September Statutory Board Meetings with no excuses proffered to the NBFTT.
"At a North Zone General Council meeting initiated by the NBFTT on September 4, 2021, the board met with some of the Zone’s established teams which confirmed additional irregularities regarding the process. This occurred after the zonal executive was repeatedly asked to call a meeting of the members with the NBFTT – again with no response. The executive was invited to the September 4, 2021 meeting, but did not attend.
"The NBFTT deliberated on its reported findings of the AGM and was moved to declare the North Zone’s June 26, 2021 AGM as unconstitutional and should be redone by October 17, 2021 under the supervision of the Board."
Also, on Monday, Guardian Media Sports received a letter titled: "Independence and Democracy in Sport Administration in Jeopardy", signed by the newly elected secretary of the NZBC Alexis Browne. The letter was addressed to the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) seeking the organisation's intervention, "to bring to closure a matter that is drawing closer to an overthrow and ousting of an elected executive of a Zonal commission".
The NZBC, in its letter, accused the NBFTT of adopting dictatorial approaches to unseat the zone's executive, listing several missteps by the head body itself.
It said that the NBFTT: "Attempted to host a Special General Meeting of the membership of the NZBC without meeting with executive prior nor discussing the nature of the call nor agenda.
"Inviting stakeholders from a wide cross-section to deliberate on NZBC affairs. Attempted to initiate a vote at the said Special General Meeting that there was no quorum and of the four clubs that were represented at this meeting, only one was financial that was represented at the AGM and the other three absented themselves."
The NZBC's letter advised each of the NBFTT's attempts at those meetings were unsuccessful.
It went on to say the NBFTT has been: "Discrediting the zone via meda releases which have been broadcasted in the news and as such damaged the image and brand of the NZBC."
The letter also stated that since June 26, the newly elected NZBC chairman Kwesi Antoine has not been invited to the board of directors meeting for which he holds a position as director according to Article 15 (d) of the NBFTT constitution.
The NZBC went on to point out questionable happenings in the East Zone Basketball Commission.
According to the letter: "The East Zone election of officers in 2018 took place in an illegal Special Meeting setting which remains unconstitutional to date and the members were only give six days to elect their executive officers after an initial meeting took place on December 5, 2018.
"The present president who was then the incumbent general secretary of the NBFTT was the returning officer at the East Zone unconstitutional AGM despite her announcement for presidency prior which is a serious conflict of interest."
The North Zone in its three-page letter appealed to the TTOC for assistance to mediate and provide clear guidance to the NBFTT on the way forward, recommending that "CBC (Caribbean Basketball Confederation) and FIBA (International Basketball Federation) be informed of the need to administer fresh election for representatives of the parent body. Elections at all levels be administered under the monitoring of FIBA, CBC , TTOC and MOSCD (Ministry of Sports and Community Development)."