The newly-appointed Coordinator, Sector ‘C’ Command of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Delta State, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has warned impostors to steer clear of the operations of the enforcement and surveillance team of the Association put in place by the Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo-led executive council or risk jail.

Akpodoro stated this at a meeting of stakeholders on Friday in Ughelli, Delta State, where he noted that some disgruntled elements were hell-bent on throwing spanners in the work of the team constituted to fight illegal bunkering, product adulteration, pipeline vandalism, oil theft and sundry crimes in the distribution chain of petroleum product in the state.

He noted that the activities of some ‘fake’ persons had become injurious to the Association.

The ex-militant leader stressed that his team was in the state to commence operations as directed by Elder Okoronkwo, who is the National President of the Association.

He decried the activities of those he described as criminal surrogates and usurpers, who he said had vowed to impede the operations of the Surveillance Team.

Akpodoro added that those people were working in connivance with a handful of supposed law enforcement agents, who he accused of working against the success of IPMAN in the state.

He said efforts were being made to get the support of security agents but stressed that the clandestine moves by the criminal elements kept creating doubts in the security circles.

He called on the Inspector General Police, IGP, Ibrahim Adamu, to enforce the Supreme court judgement that authenticated and conferred the Presidency of IPMAN on Elder Okoronkwo in a unanimous judgement delivered by the apex court last year.

He stated that after a long drawn legal battle over the leadership of IPMAN that the Supreme Court gave a unanimous judgement in December 2020, declaring Elder Okoronkwo as the President of IPMAN.

“Whoever parades himself against the judgment of the apex court shall be jailed for contempt of court,” adding that the court even awarded N2m naira cost in favour of Okoronkwo.

“They claim to be marketers, we agreed; we told them we are neither marketers nor product buyers but a Surveillance Team put in place to checkmate criminal activities of dubious marketers and they became jittery. This bunch said as marketers they must be the ones to constitute a surveillance team and not the national president of IPMAN.

“As if not funny enough, this set of people are actually the ones who vandalise oil pipelines, steal and distribute stolen products and now they are afraid of a legitimate team set up by the IPMAM president to end their criminalities in Delta State.

“They boast of buying the security apparatus in the state and beyond so that the oil and pipelines will remain vulnerable and pervious for their economic sabotage. For every ten trucks loaded from Delta State, presumably, five of them carry adulterated or stolen products. It is a known fact the criminal elements are having field days in Delta State and are operating without challenge.

“IPMAN has Surveillance Team all over the states of the Niger Delta region, why is that of Delta State different? The national president has resolved to jail whoever stands in the way of the Surveillance Team. Supreme Court has given judgement authenticating Elder Okoronwo’s leadership thereby conferring the power to hire and fire on him as far as IPMAM is concerned.”

He warned those engaged in the blackmail and propaganda against his team to stop, adding that investigations have begun into the activities of ‘self-acclaimed’ marketers.