·    Warns against subjecting Imolites to suffering, hardship

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Imo State Chapter has berated the Tanker Drivers Association and all those involved in causing the artificial scarcity of petroleum products in Imo state which, according to the party, has subjected Imolites to untold and avoidable suffering and hardship.

The party stated this in a release dated September 1, 2021 signed by the State Chairman, Hon John Iwuala and made available to the press.

The party frowned at what it referred to as the unlawful and unwarranted attitude of the Tanker Drivers Association which has led to “artificial scarcity of petroleum product, panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products which has wrecked havoc on the lives and property of the people who now store the highly inflammable product at home and in unsafe places.

The release stated that, “the attention of the party’s leadership has been drawn to the wailings and lamentations of Imo people over the recent strike embarked on by the Tanker Drivers Association, which has subjected Imo people to unmitigated social, physical and psychological trauma as economic activities in the state were paralyzed making life hectic for Imo people for no fault of theirs”.

The party expressed dismay that members of the association failed to understand that the judgment of a court of first instance is not final and absolute as an unsatisfied person has the right to appeal against the judgment entered against his or her interest.

They wondered how and why the tanker drivers expected the government to pay compensation to their member when the matter is still pending at the appeal court and warned that if the Tanker drivers attempt to embark on another strike, APGA will have no option than to institute legal action against them on behalf of Imo people.

“We advise the Association to face the matter at the court of Appeal. Since the state Govt has appealed against the judgment which awarded them compensation. There is no need subjecting the poor masses to untold hardship with your strike action. What is left for you is to subject yourself within the jurisdiction of the appeal court and protect your secured judgment. No sensible Govt can pay any compensation while the matter is still pending at the court of Appeal”.

“You must bear in mind that to pay compensation for a property when the judgment has been appealed against is contempt of Court and an impeachable offence on the part of Governor Hope Uzodinma. If he does so without utilizing all relevant and other avenues of litigation and appeal, it means there is a conspiracy, between the plaintiff and defendants.

This matter is still pending at the court of Appeal. If you win a case at the high Court, which is court of first instance, you have no right to fight any aggrieved party in the case or stop such person from approaching the court of Appeal as such is in the exercise of one’s constitutional rights of Appeal.

Members of the association should wear their thinking caps and know that Gov Hope Uzodinma is right this time. Hence the judgment has been appealed against/challenged at the court of Appeal; all parties are expected to remain calm and maintain the status quo pending the determination of the appeal. Calling for payment of compensation for now is barbaric and such strikes causing lots of sufferings and additional hardship on the masses are unwarranted”.