By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Following recent Supreme Court judgement, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has read the riot act to its “miscreant” members parading themselves as the leaders of IPMAN in the country contrary to the judgement.
The Supreme Court had on December 14 confirmed Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo as the authentic National President of IPMAN in an appeal by Chief Obasi Lawson against Elder Okoronkwo and 10 others seeking the court to recognise him as the authentic leader of IPMAN nation-wide.
In its judgement, the five judges of the Supreme Court led by Justice Ejembo Eko said: “The preliminary objection is hereby sustained. This appeal, being now academic and incompetent, is hereby struck out. Costs assessed at N2,000,000 shall be and is hereby awarded against the appellant herein in favour of the respondents jointly/or severally.”
On his part, Justice Chika Centus Nweze, said: “Upon my perusal of the process, I take the view that upon the lapse of his tenure on March 2017, the appellant had become a usurper, an impostor, impersonators, a chameleonic and unabashed interloper.
“Thus by this appeal, and other suits, in which he claimed to be the rightful occupant of the office of the National President of the association, IPMAN, and indeed by holding himself as such, he has been deliberately stoking the embers of, and sustaining the leadership crisis in IPMAN.
“This is rather unfortunate. People such as the appellant, should have their day, elsewhere, where the law has dutifully, created for malcontents who do know the virtue of peaceful association.
“He should, therefore, leave that exalted office of National President of IPMAN forthwith. Having served his three-year term, he has no interest to protect this appeal. An appeal, which I find to be unmeritorious being an academic venture.”
Okonkwo in a reaction through telephone interview with some newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, said those going against the Supreme Court judgement were not their members
He said: “Those people going against the Supreme Court judgment are not my members but just miscreants. If they were to be members, the position of the law is very obvious as the Supreme Court has finally brought to an end the tussle.”