A group of oil marketers in Lagos has protested against alleged inhuman treatment against them by three oil firms.
The marketers alleged that Techno, Kanthorn and Florence oil firms swindled them of N400 million and were using the police to intimidate them.
The aggrieved marketers, who staged a protest at the weekend in the premises of Techno Oil tank farm in kirikiri, Apapa, alleged that they paid N400 million, through Florence Petroleum and Kanthorn Oil to Techno Oil for the delivery of over 1000 liters of petroleum products, but that never happened.
The victims have, therefore, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICP), to intervene in the matter. They have also called on the Inspector-General of Police to caution his men who they alleged were being used by the accused to pervert justice.
Speaking with journalists at the site of Techno tank farm, one of the marketers, Mrs. Monsurat Adenike, said they confirmed with Techno Oil whether the Kanthorn and Florence oil were capable of supplying them the 100 litres capacity before they made payment for the products sometimes around July, 2019, and Techno gave them the go ahead.
Responding through its lawyer, Adedayo Oshidi, Kanthorn Oil denied the allegation of being involved in the matter.
The lawyer said: “It is the true that we know Florence Oil. We have been doing business with the company. We have the product and Florence is like an agent that brings customers to us. We give our products through agents. Yes, Florence collected money for loading and we loaded for Florence, but it refused to give the product to the people that paid them. We did not know all these, until the marketers started complaining.
There was no way we would have known what transpired However, the management of Techno Oil which spoke through Mr. Bob Onyeama and Folarin Odufuwa, denied the allegations made by the oil marketers. The duo said the allegations levelled against their company were false because Techno Oil does not have any direct dealings with the said marketers.
“They should show the evidence that they paid to Techno Oil. There is no way we can prevail on the matter because we didn’t receive money from them. They should rather go and meet the people they paid to. “The marketers only came to do troop-put with our company, so we expect them to go and clarify things with Kanthorn and Florence Petroleum and stop tarnishing our image,” they said. Reacting on behalf of Florence Oil, Dr. Okey Henry said:
“I am a customer to Kanthorn Energy Ltd. I started buying product from them from May this year.
They called me on June 13, 2019, through their operations manager, Dr. Chuka Imo, that they have over four million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Techno tank farm Kirikiri; this I later found out to be false. He said they would give me discount if I buy up to two million litres. I mobilised my own money and that of my customers totalling N119,250,000 and paid into their account with keystone bank, account: no 1006930287and account name: kanthorne Energy Ltd. Immediately the money got to them, they switched off their phones. I could not reach them throughout that day. The next day, I wrote to Keystone bank which confirmed the receipt of the money but said they have released the product to Kanthorn. Instead of giving me the product, Kanthorne secured a warrant to arrest me, while still holding both our money and the product. “