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IPMAN Describes Ugwuanyi’s Ban On Its Operations As Reckless



From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Chief Tagbo Osita Nnamani, led Enugu state branch of Independent  Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN, has condemned and faulted the recent banning of its operations in the state till further notice by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi , whom it said do not have such powers, describing the action as “executive recklessness”

African Examiner recalled that the Permanent Secretary (General Administration), Mrs. Josephine Onyia, had in a statement she issued on June 28th, 2019, explained that the state government took the decision after reviewing with great concern, the protracted crisis that has been rocking association in  the state
chapter of IPMAN.

The document hinted that “a committee comprising Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Police, 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”

However, the pronouncement has been generating a lot of mixed reactions among oil stakeholders in the state.

But speaking to newsmen in Enugu on behalf of Enugu IPMAN leadership, its lawyer, Barrister Awforkansi Nnadiume (Esq) wondered where the Governor derived the powers upon which he banned the association in Enugu state describing the action of the governor as “executive recklessness ” insisting  that the Governor does not have such powers.”

Barr. Nnadiume, said: “IPMAN is a national organization that covers the entire Nigeria, stressing that 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 such, only the nation’s National Assembly  (NASS) can exercise such powers.”

The lawyer stated that there is no faction or crisis in the state chapter of IPMAN as claimed by the state government, pointing out the Supreme Court, had done justice to the leadership issue that bedeviled the association abinitio thus, the question of leadership doesn’t arise.

According to him, the supreme court in the appeal No. SC.15/2018 on 14th December, 2018, ordered that the appeal court judgment of 7th December, 2017 which upheld the ruling of 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, who made available to newsmen all the courts judgments, including that of the Supreme court, quoted the nation’s apex court as ordering “that the appeal is hereby struck out being now academic and incompetence, adding that it went ahead to award the sum of Two Million Naira only (N2, 000,000.00) in favour of Elder Okoronkwo.

He however, maintained 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 has also being executed and the successful party put in possession by the court”

On the position of state government that the activities of IPMAN “has assumed dimensions of cultism and banditry with its attendant grave security implications in the state”, the lawyer wondered why Enugu State police chose to play to the gallery, ignoring the directive of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu.

He noted that the IGP, had in a letter signed by his Principal Staff Officer, ACP Idowu Owohunwa on 6th June, 2019 acknowledged the receipt of the “Supreme Court judgment in SC/15/2018 Involving IPMAN Leadership and Request to Give Effect to Same” directed The Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of operations to inform the Commissioners of Police in all State Commands to comply with the court judgment.

“In another letter from the office of the IGP to various Commissioners of police (including Enugu) dated 6th June, 2019 and titled RE: INTRODUCTION OF NATIONAL OFFICERS AND DEPOTS LEADERSHIP and signed by ACP Idowu Owohunwa, the IGP directed the State Commissioners of Police to relate with the leadership of IPMAN in their various states according to the judgment of the apex court (including the case of Enugu State, where  Mr. Tagbo Osita Nnamani) is the chairman.

The lawyer, therefore, advised Governor Ugwuanyi, and the police to “obey the judgment of the Supreme Court as shown and given by the Federal Attorney General in his letter dated 24th January, 2019 to the National Chairman of IPMAN.

 

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