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IPMAN threatens to shut oil depots, 400 filling stations over Police harassment

*Leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has accused the Police of harassing leaders of the association while also making an attempt to impose a factional leadership on IPMAN

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For alleged Police harassment of its members and their business, especially in parts of the South-South region, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Calabar Depot, has threatened to close depots and 400 petrol stations.

ConsumerConnect reports the IPMAN, Calabar Depot consists of more than 500 independent petroleum marketers from Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Benue States which with members from some other states make up the Eastern Zone of the association in the country.

Mr. Robert Obi, Chairman of IPMAN Calabar Depot, who noted this development at a media briefing in Calabar, Cross River State capital at the weekend, pointedly accused the Nigeria Police of making it a habit to harass the leaders of the association.

The IPMAN Chairman also stated the Police’s attempt to impose a factional leadership on the Association even when issues bordering on its authentic Depot Chairman and National President has been settled long ago by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court judgment of February 21, 2019, and an earlier judgment of the Federal High Court Calabar delivered June 19, 2019 have long settled the succession tussle, Obi stated.

He further noted: “Both judgments recognised automatic succession of the Deputy National President, Alhaji Sanusi Abdu Fari, as National President of IPMAN, based on the1997 constitution of the association.”

He added even the legal unit of the Police Headquarters headed by certain CP Daso Oruebo, had advised the Police to recognise the leadership of Alhaji Fari, and withdraw from the occupation of the IPMAN national secretariat in Abuja, in compliance with the court orders.

The IMPAN leadership, therefore, warned if the harassment should continue, the planned shutdown of the Depot and hundreds of petrol stations should be extended to other branches

He said it was incumbent on the Police authorities to enforce the orders of the courts and restore peace in the Eastern zone of IPMAN.

Obi said: “We want to draw the attention of the general public to the continued harassment of our leadership and some members of IPMAN in the name of enforcing a directive by a top Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

“We were surprised that on Thursday, 29, 2021 about 6.00p.m., a police team from Federal Housing stormed our secretariat and tried to force us out and install an illegal leadership.”

The IMPAN Chair added: “Besides, we would go further to shut down the over 20 depots in our branch, and close down over 400 petrol stations to protest the attack on our office and harassment of our members. We have over suffered in (at) the hands of the Police.

“The Police have no business in how we run our affairs; neither do they have the right to determine who and who our members are.”

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