Petroleum tanker drivers raise alarm over alleged NUPENG/police connivance to scuttle election

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By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

Aggrieved members of Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, have petitioned the Minister of Police Affairs alleging Police connivance with the General Secretary of NUPENG to fraudulently manipulate their electoral agreements, bylaws and incite public disorder.

The petition signed by Ikechukwu okpalaelechi, Esq of the Indepth Legal Consults, raised alarm over alleged continued harrasement, intimidation and harmful maltreatment of selected members by the general Secretary of NUPENG.

The petition alleged that the top officials of NUPENG and the police are hell bent to thwart the judgement of the National Industrial Court, Bayelsa state division and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The petition copied to all relevant agencies including the Presidency, the aggrieved members lamented that there are desperate moves by a faction of the union to thwart and manipulate the forth coming election in their favour using the Nigeria Police and called on the Minister and other good spirited and relevant agencies to help bring justice to them.

The petition stated that before the delegates conference in 2022, one Comrade Godwin Ewhrudjakpor, a member of PTD from Warri Zone, Delta State challenged the membership of Comrade Lucky Osesua in PTD but the delegates conference that followed in June same year at Ibadan took place and Comrade Osesua participated and won the election as the National Chairman of PTD-Extraction.

According to the petitioners, in delivering the judgement, the court, amongst others, affirmed that Comrade Lucky Osesua is a member of PTD yet it nullified the election and dissolved the National Executive Council of PTD formed as a result of the said election which took place in Ibadan.
The court said the election was a breach of PTD 2019 bylaws and ordered NUPENG to first, set up a caretaker committee and an electoral committee to conduct an election into the various national offices of the PTD within four months from the date of judgement. The court further stated that such an electoral committee must be in line with the relevant provisions of the PTD bylaws of 2019 and not to be an arbitrary exercise of power by NUPENG and ordered that a caretaker committee be set up to handle the affairs of PTD pending the conduct of the election with rule 10 of PTD bylaws.
The petitioners stated that after the constitution of NUPENG, the next most important instrument which governs the leadership of the body is their bylaws of 2019 which states that in the event of the removal of a National Officer, the next officer in rank to the removed officer shall act on his behalf or the PTD branch working committee on behalf of the branch executive committee shall co-opt a credible person in his place.
This rule, they stated was never followed in spite of the fact that not all the branch working committee and branch executive committee members were removed from office.
“The rule was never followed, the judgement was never obeyed, hence trouble started.
“In the build up to the election as ordered by the court, the General Secretary and his accomplices became both the head of the caretaker committee and electoral committee thereby manipulating the process to suit the whims and caprices of an acclaimed “godfather” and those that claim to own PTD and as such denied and disenfranchised Comrade Lucky Osesua and others with obnoxious election guidelines which stops them from contesting or participating in the election.
The petitioners also alleged that one Comrade Otunba Saliman Oladiti, the immediate past National Chairman of PTD was the person mainly responsible for inciting the problem in the union based on his inordinate ambition to take over the whole of the property, leadership structure of PTD to the detriment of it’s members. This, according to the petitioners, is his inclination to play a big godfather’s role in selecting the leadership of the PTD ostensibly in order to cover up the rot perpetrated within the union and he is using some top officers in NUPENG to heighten the problem in PTD.
There were also indiscriminately suspending members whom they felt were in the camp of Comrade Osesua or supporting him thereby creating a big gap and hole in the once beloved PTD family.
The petitioners further alleged that they unleashed measures meant to befuddle the proper running of the affairs of PTD, create confusion, and outrightly embarked on a regime of fraudulently trying to eliminate the candidacy of Comrade Osesua and his executives for the various positions in favor of their stooges and acolytes.
The petitioners alleged that the ding dong affair led to several petitions to the police where they concocted lies and deceptives against Comrade Osesua and his group and the police intimidated, harassed and hounded them several times to the extent of detaining them in their stations and correctional centers.

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“While this was happening, NUPENG filed a matter at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja asking the court for interpretation of certain sections of their constitution and rules of the PTD bylaws and on May 29, 2024, the court delivered judgement and yet again nullified both elections ordering a fresh election to be conducted within four months from the date of the judgement with strict compliance with and within the electoral rules and procedures provided in PTD by laws.

“However, the so called godfather and his cohorts re still hell bent in scuttling court orders by using the police to haras, intimidate and hound Comrade Osesua and his supporters and had stopped all their trucks from loading petroleum products and for the past nine months, they have denied them their entitlements and blocked their businesses which is a crime against humanity.
“We are, therefore, appealing that you use your good offices as the National Security Adviser to intervene and bring justice, unity and harmony to PTD and also investigate the matter and see the level of involvement of security agencies in aiding, harassment and intimidation of Comrade Osesua and his supporters.”

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