By Uthman Salami
The unison of oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have announced that no leadership change has been effected in the association’s National Executive whose tenure is expected to expire on December 14, 2023.
The clarification appears to be a fallout of the leadership tussle in the association with different factions reportedly laying claim to the association’s national executive. This was made known in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman, on Friday in Lagos.
Suleiman revealed that it became necessary to make this clarification following moves by some persons to install another national executive for IPMAN in violation of the Supreme Court judgment on the association’s executive.
Suleiman maintained that IPMAN has no faction because the issue had been settled by a Supreme Court judgement delivered in Abuja on December 14, 2018.
He confirmed that the judgment read by Justice Musa Muhammad in suit No. SC15/2015, recognised Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and Alhaji Danladi Pasali as President and Secretary of IPMAN, respectively adding that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba had also ensured the enforcement of the judgment.
He said: “We are in a country guided by laws and the judgment of the Supreme Court must be obeyed as the final arbiter of cases in Nigeria.
“So for anybody to now claim that he is handing over IPMAN leadership to another person means that they are in for contempt of court.
“Their action can lead to disturbance of public peace and we are calling on the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that such persons are apprehended to forestall breakdown of law and order.”
Suleiman said it was unfortunate that some persons who were not IPMAN members by virtue of their operations in the industry were causing disunity among petroleum marketers.
He said IPMAN would continue to support the efforts of the government and other stakeholders in the industry to ensure that Nigerians continue to enjoy undisrupted supply of petroleum products across the country.
IPMAN has been enmeshed in a leadership crisis and protracted legal battle on the authentic leadership of the National Executive Committee of IPMAN since 2014, which has lingered since then.
The Supreme Court had on December 14, 2018, delivered judgment in the case brought by Chief Obasi Lawson against Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo and 10 others, confirming Okoronkwo as the authentic leader of IPMAN’s national body and by extension, all the state executives put in place by him.