The crisis in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has deepened following the recent arrest of its factional leader, Chief Lawson Obasi.
The factional leader of the association was recently picked by the police for interrogation. However, Chinedu Ukadike, personal assistant to Obasi, the allegation that his boss was arrested over alleged criminal charges was phony because he was only invited by police over the crisis in IPMAN. He accused the Chief Chinedu Okoronkwo-led IPMAN to be behind the ordeal of his boss. “Chief Chinedu Okoronkwo led IPMAN group was just trying to see what to hold on to since the Federal Government has recognised Lawson Obasi as the IPMAN President,” he said.
He insisted that Obasi was only invited by the police for interrogation and not arrested as being alleged by the Okoronkwo camp. When contacted, the FCT Police spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah denied knowledge of the arrest but promised to verify from his men.
The Okoronkwo-led group had told journalists in Abuja that Obasi was picked by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the FCT Police Command for alleged criminal offenses.
Okoronkwo said that Obasi was arrested on the charges preferred against him by the Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federation, M.S. Diri.
IPMAN has been engulfed in a leadership crisis since last year when Obasi won a case he filed in a court in Port Harcourt against the board of trustees of the association.
By Pita Ochai