IPMAN lauds court’s confirmation of Okoronkwo’s presidency
Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have expressed delight over the Supreme Court’s judgement in Abuja on Friday, which declared Chinedu Okoronkwo as the president of the association.
The oil marketers gave the commendation in a statement issued by their national secretary, Danladi Passali, after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the weekend.
Passali stated that the development would address the issues of misconduct and mismanagement, which, he said, was impeding the association’s progress.
Okoronkwo had initially won at the high court and appeal court levels against Lawson Obasi in the leadership tussle that lingered for over four years.
In the judgement, the apex court struck out Obasi’s appeal in the suit; and fined him N2 million as damages to Okoronkwo.
The court maintained that Okoronkwo remains the substantive president of IPMAN based on the judgement delivered on December 14, 2018.
According to Passali, the interest of all members of the association will be a top priority of the president.
The scribe described the judgement as a welcome development to IPMAN members, and the Nigerian oil and gas industry as a whole.
“The judgement will enable us maintain the serenity we normally enjoyed in the distribution and dispensing of petroleum products to Nigerians.
“Now that Okoronkwo is on the IPMAN driver’s seat, members will get their allocations accordingly.
“The NEC has reached an agreement with oil marketers for better synergy in meeting product availability in the country, since Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has better strength in storage and IPMAN, which controlled 80 per cent outlets, has the better trend in distribution and dispensing in both urban and the hinterlands.”
Okoronkwo, while addressing the media, said that the Supreme Court ruling of December 14 was a re-affirmation of the judiciary’s role of settling disputes without going to war or shedding innocent blood.
He said: “I salute the judiciary on this note. This judgement is the first of its kind, as the dispute was pursued up to the Supreme Court in Nigeria.
“It is not news that IPMAN was embroiled in leadership cum legal tussle since January 20, 2014, which has ended with the Supreme Court judgement affirming me as the national president of IPMAN.
“Let me make it clear that the Supreme Court ruling has brought to an end all IPMAN’s legal matters. That is why we should drop our personal interests for a better IPMAN and a virile association that will challenge the future threats to our businesses.”
Okorokwo described the setback that had been experienced in the past five years in IPMAN members’ businesses as a thing of the past, as IPMAN will henceforth be represented in all statutory boards of federal government agencies to protect her members’ interest.
“I promise to run a government where all IPMAN members nationwide will look at their businesses and be proud of being members of this great association,” he added.