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IPMAN faults Enugu governor’s ban on its activities

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Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday faulted the ban on its operations in Enugu State by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The governor had last week via a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mrs. Josephine Onyia, said the proscription was informed by the protracted crisis bedevilling the state chapter of the body.

He stated that “a committee comprising the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services and other relevant stakeholders will be constituted shortly to take charge pending the return to normalcy.”

But the Chief Tagbo Nnamani leadership of the union described the governor’s action as “hasty, reckless and in bad faith.”

Addressing newsmen in Enugu, his counsel, Chief Awforkansi Nnadiume, wondered where the governor derived the powers to outlaw activities of a national organisation.

He stated that the governor, by the action, had interdicted the judgment of the Supreme Court that empowered the Nnamani-led executive to assume office February 12 this year.

Nnadiume asserted: “IPMAN is a national organisation that covers the entire Nigeria. Enugu State government, even the state House of Assembly does not have the powers to legislate on either IPMAN or petroleum matter because it is in the exclusive list of the Federal Government, and as such, only the National Assembly can exercise such powers.”

He maintained that there was no crisis in the state chapter of the union, pointing out that the apex court had done justice to the leadership tussle that rocked the association last December.

The lawyer noted: “The Supreme Court in the appeal no. SC.15/2018 on December 14, 2018 ordered that the Appeal Court judgment of December 7, 2017 that upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court Abuja which ruled that the national chairman of IPMAN is Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo and his chairmen across the country are the rightful leaders of the party.”

Nnadiume insisted that “the issue of IPMAN nationwide is settled, thus the issue of warring parties could not have arisen since nobody is at war. Their issue revolves around court orders and judgments which have also been executed and the successful party put in possession by the court.”

He added that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), in a letter dated June 6, 2019, addressed to all state commands and signed by his Principal Staff Officer, ACP Idowu Owohunwa, clarified the situation in line with the Supreme Court order.


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