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Marketers protest against alleged fraud by oil firms

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A group of oil marketers in Lagos State at the weekend protested against alleged fraud and inhuman treatment by three oil firms. The marketers alleged that Techno, Kanthorn and Florence oil firms swindled them of N400 million and were using the police to intimidate them.

The aggrieved marketers staged a protest to the premises of Techno oil tank farm in Kirikiri, Apapa, alleging that they paid N400 million through Florence Petroleum and Kanthorn Oil to Techno Oil for the delivery of over 1,000 liters of petroleum products.

The victims have therefore called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICP) to intervene and come to their rescue. The marketers have also called on the Inspector-General of Police to caution his men who they alleged were being used by the accused to pervert justice.

Speaking with journalists, one of the marketers, Mrs. Monsurat Adenike, said they confirmed with Techno whether Kanthorn and Florence were capable of supplying them the 1,000 litres capacity before they made payment for the products sometimes in July 2019 and Techno gave them the go ahead.

“We paid to some marketers. After we were given the first batch of products, they refused to deliver the second batch we paid for. We made a report to Techno but the management is dribbling us; instead of helping us, the management said the matter is in the hands of the police. Techno has the well withal to help us retrieve the money, which we paid on their advice,” she said.

In its reaction, Kanthorn oil, which spoke through a legal practitioner, Adedayo Oshidi, denied the allegation of being involved in the matter. The lawyer said: “It is true that we know Florence oil. We have been doing business with the company. We have the product and Florence is like an agent who brings customers to us. We give our products through agents. Yes, Florence collected money for loading and we loaded for Florence, but it refused to give the product to the people that paid to them. We did not know all these until the marketers started complaining. I sympathise with the protesters, but they should channel their complaints to the right and appropriate quarters.”

However, the management of Techno Oil who spoke through Bob Onyeama and Folarin Odufuwa, denied the allegations made by the oil marketers. The duo said the allegations leveled against their company were false because Techno oil does not have any direct dealings with the said marketers.

“They should show the evidence that they paid to Techno Oil, and there is no way we can prevail in the matter, because we didn’t receive money from them, they should rather go and meet the people they paid to.”Responding, Managing Director of Florence Petroleum said: “If someone said he paid the sum of N400 million to another person, ask for the evidence of this payment. This matter is already in the Federal High Court, Lagos.
It may be subjudice talking to you about it.”

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