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IPMAN to suspend distribution of products in eastern zone over alleged police harassment

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has threatened to suspend the distribution of products within the eastern zone with effect from today following the alleged harassment of its members by the police.

National president of a faction of IPMAN, Alhaji Sanusi Fari, made the disclosure in a circular released to newsmen in Awka at the weekend by the secretary, Chidi Nnubia.

Nnubia told journalists that the action was in protest of the forced eviction of a duly elected executive at the Port Harcourt depot by the police.

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He said the Fari-led national executive had a court order, which authenticated its leadership, and wondered why the police would allow any group of persons to truncate a legitimate executive without due process.

According to the circular, IPMAN would withdraw services including the dispatch of petroleum products in the eastern zone comprising Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and Port Harcourt depots.

It reads in part: “Following the series of unwarranted attacks by police against IPMAN, the eastern zone comprising the National Executive Committe of IPMAN resolved that members withdraw their services at these units/depots immediately until further notice. The zonal chairman (east) should kindly forward to chairmen of IPMAN in Aba, Calabar, Enugu, Makurdi and Port Harcourt depots/units for compliance.

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“On Friday, a group loyal to a parallel faction that lost out in the court was led to forcefully take over the IPMAN office at the Port Harcourt depot.

“Dr Joseph Obele, the lawfully elected chairman of the depot, was elected in October 2019 in an election which these people participated in. His tenure will expire in 2022. So, they should allow him to finish his tenure.

“We are using this opportunity to call on the Inspector General of Police to intervene and prevail on his men so that they can allow the leadership of IPMAN recognised by law to have access to their office in Port Harcourt depot.

“We will not allow the reign of impunity in IPMAN. So, we have resolved to withdraw our services in the eastern zone indefinitely until legality is restored.”

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