IPMAN Strike In Ekiti Over Alleged NSCDC Extortions, Harassment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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IPMAN Strike In Ekiti Over Alleged NSCDC Extortions, Harassment

NSCDC officers
Posted: Mar 24, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Yaqoub Popoola, Ado-Ekiti

Members of the Independent and Major Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have suspended the delivery of petroleum products to Ekiti State over alleged extortion and harassment of its members by men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
It could be recalled that IPMAN in the state had accused NSCDC of unlawfully arresting and detaining tanker drivers bringing petroleum products to the state under the guise that the products were diverted from other states.
IPMAN had also through its lawyer, petitioned Governor Ayodele Fayose, urging him to call the NSCDC operatives to order.
In the petition dated March 22, 2016 and signed on behalf of IPMAN by the chambers of E.K. Adetifa, Legal Practitioners, which was addressed to Governor Fayose, IPMAN said that the excesses of the NSCDC officials is having adverse effects on their businesses.
The petition read: “Your Excellency part of the excesses of the NSCDC include incessant and random seizure of petroleum trucks that
are bringing petroleum products into the state, unlawful detention of truck drivers and extortion of members whenever the impounded petroleum trucks and detained drivers are to be released from the custody, usurpation of the power of Department of Petroleum Resources.
“Your Excellency, it is noteworthy to stress here that several meetings have held between our client and the authorities of NSCDC to stop the unjustifiable harassment, arrest and detention of petroleum taker drivers and to foster harmonious working relationship, but to no avail.
“Our client has further informed us that on March 21, the national chairman of petroleum tankers drivers’ Association has directed members not to bring petroleum products to Ekiti until the spate of reckless seizure, arrest and detention by NSCDC is firmly abated.”
Mr Ayodele Owoeye, the Chairman of IPMAN in the state said on Wednesday that IPMAN is aware that the suspension order will unleash adverse economic impact on the state.
Owoeye, who was represented by Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, urged the State Government to wade into the matter to prevent total closure of petroleum business in Ekiti.
However, Mr Ibrahim Raji, State Commandant, NSCDC Ekiti Command described the allegations raised by IPMAN as frivolous. He challenged the marketers to mention the names of the personnel that demand and collected bribes from them, rather than resort to blanket condemnation of his officers.
“Since I resumed in Ekiti, I never took bribe from anybody. What we were doing was enforcement of laws as regard diversion and adulteration of petroleum products.
“For some of the tanker drivers we have arrested of recent, there were no operating license, no trans loading document and weigh bill to confirm that there were legal transactions. Should we now allow these illegalities to continue unchecked?
“Another one we arrested loaded at NNPC depot in Ibadan and was supposed to discharge at Iyana Church in the same town, but only to be seen in Ekiti without document to show that the product was validly purchased.
“We are quite aware of the economic situation of the country now, particular about fuel scarcity. We are deeply concerned and also affected so we can’t do anything that can add to the hardship.
“I have spoken with the President of the Tankers’ drivers in Nigeria and the matter is gradually being resolved. But the marketers must make all their dealings legal to help the system”, he said.