Dozens of police officers from the Anti Cultism and Kidnapping Squad have sealed the Calabar Office of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
The officers who say they are acting on the orders of the State Police Commissioner, Aminu Alhassan, stationed themselves around the office located around Calabar Depot and chased away petroleum Marketers and other protesting staff.
Some staff however protested the action of the police and with placards bearing several inscriptions.
Speaking on the development, Robert Obi, the Chairman of IPMAN in the state condemned the action of the police.
He said the officers are trying to instigate a crisis and set the state ablaze.
Obi said “The Police barricaded my office as you can see.
“With all the court judgments available, they are disobeying these judgments.
“The police are not prepared to look at the judgments and in Calabar, there is a restraining order on the police.
“What they are trying to do is to instigate a crisis so that they can tag us as criminals, set the state ablaze and arrest us.
“The kas is with us and the directive of a senior police officer is not above that of the Supreme Court”, he said.
Also speaking, Daniel Mgbe, legal Adviser to IPMAN said there is a Supreme Court and Federal High Court judgment stating clearly who are the rightful occupants of IPMAN offices.
He said these judgments have been executed long ago and wonder came from nowhere and instigated tension in the state as well as IPMAN.
He said the directive by a senior police officer is unlawful as they have been given superior documents by courts of competent jurisdiction.
On his part, the state police commissioner Aminu Alhassan said he issued the directive asking the Anti Cultism and Kidnapping Squad to seal the office.
He said the person who won the court matter is to take over and one will come and take over the state chapter of IPMAN.
IPMAN has been factionalized between Chief Obasi Lawson and Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo both from Abia state since 2015 over who is the authentic National President of IPMAN.
The Supreme Court had in a judgment in Suit No SC/15/2018 delivered on December 14, 2018, and its subsequent interpretation by Federal High Court Calabar dated June 19, 2019, recognised automatic succession of the Deputy National President, Alh Sanusi Abdu Fari, as National President of IPMAN, based on 1997 constitution of the association as against of one Chinedu Okoronkwo.
However, the Okoronkwo side said they actually won the case and are determined to take over IPMAN with the help of the police