Lagos — Members of the Calabar Depot of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, are insisting on shutting down the depots and their petrol stations, numbering over 400, due to alleged persistent harassment by the Police.
Calabar Depot IPMAN, comprising over 500 members from Akwa Ibom, Cross River and parts of Benue State, allege constant harassment of its leadership by the Police.
Depot chairman of IPMAN, Comrade Robert Obi, said the Police have been attempting to impose a factional leadership of the association whereas the issue of leadership of the body had been resolved by the Supreme Court.
According to him, the Supreme Court judgment of February 21, 2019 and the interpretation given by the Federal High Court, Calabar, dated June 19, 2019 had settled the succession tussle.
“…as both judgments recognised automatic succession of the Deputy National President, Alh Sanusi Abdu Fari, as National President of IPMAN, based on the 1997 constitution of the association.”
He accused the police authorities of unnecessary interference in the association’s affairs.
The group said it members had been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police Force over alleged attempts by the police to foist a factional leadership for IPMAN across Enugu, Aba, Rivers, and Cross River.
He disclosed that even the legal unit of the police headquarters headed by one CP Daso Oruebo, had advised police to recognise the leadership of Alh Fari and withdraw from the occupation of the national secretariat in Abuja in compliance with the court orders which incidentally should be extended to other branches having emerged from the same process.
The National President of the association, Alhaji (Engr.), Sanusi Fari, had early last month directed its members in Port Harcourt, Aba, Calabar, Enugu and Makurdi depots to withdraw their services from all loading depots due to police harassment.
However, barely three weeks after suspension of the strike following intervention by some top government officers and police authorities, crack team of policemen from Federal Housing Police Division Calabar again allegedly invaded the IPMAN secretariat on September 29, 2021.