The newspaper house, Public Watch Newspapers, has dragged the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company (PPMC) and its depot manager, Engr Maikano to court. They claim that the daily allocation and distribution of petroleum products at the Ekpan-Warri depot of Delta State engages in fraudulent and sharp practices.
The media house (Applicant) in suit NO FHC/WR/es/88/14 filed by its counsel, CJ Enegide esq, at the Federal High Court in Warri, is seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Petroleum Pipelines And Marketing Company (PPMC) and its depot manager, Engr Maikano to disclose and make available all the details of the daily allocation and distribution of petroleum products at the Ekpan-Warri depot.
The media house’s request for these details stems from the failure of PPMC and Maikano to make public their allocation and distribution numbers through the application of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
A letter titled “Request For Information” addressed to the depot manager of PPMC, signed by the editor of the Public Watch Newspapers, Mr. Agbonmire Ohiorenoyia, and obtained by SaharaReporters demands the following:
“We are a newspaper house based in Delta State and we are seeking to promote the rule of law, transparency, accountability especially as they connect to our national reform policy of zero tolerance for corrupt practices. Based on public outcry against alleged sharp and fraudulent practices in the daily allocation and distribution of kerosene (DPK) at Warri depot, Public Watch Newspapers dispatched its staff to Warri depot on convert journalism to investigate the alleged corrupt and fraudulent practices in the daily allocation and distribution of DPK product.”
“The findings made by Public Watch Newspapers is shocking and corroborative of the allegations. Based on the foregoing and in accordance with the provision of the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act 2011, you are therefore requested to avail Public Watch Newspapers via its email on weekly basis the allocation/programme schedule of DPK distribution in Warri depot. You are duty bound to comply with the demand of this letter under the provision of sections 2 (3) (bii) of the FOI Act 2011.”
PPMC and the depot manager ignored the letter.
The applicant is therefore seeking an order of court in pursuant to the provisions of the FOI Act, 2011 to grant permission to apply for judicial review because of a denial of access to information.
The applicant is also hoping the court will grant it an order of mandamus compelling the respondents to disclose and make available to the applicant as requested in the said letters publication on a weekly basis, as well as relevant information detailing the allottees, and particulars of the delivery tankers and their respective destinations.
Confiding in SaharaReporters, a staff of PPMC who is very well abreast with the racketeering and alleged fraudulent and sharp practices disclosed the way PPMC, the depot manager, and security agents carry out the illicit deals.
“PPMC management have continued to conspire with marketers and security agents who give them cover. What they do is that they only allocate a few truck loads of the petroleum products to NNPC mega station and retail outlets owned by some NNPC. Large volumes of the products are diverted by PPMC and marketers at Warri depot.”
“For a 30, 000 litre truck marketers will collude with the depot manager hand picks a marketer to raise or prepare a draft of N1, 227, 000 and pull out ticket for loading the product. Thereafter the marketer being a front for PPMC, IPMAN and IMB will divert the products by selling it to buyers from the west, eastern or northern part of the country at N105 per litre and the excess gain will be shared in the following order: Security agencies, the Army, SSS and Police N60, 000 each for a truck. PTD N150, 000, State Task Force N20, 000, DRP N30, 000, R and I N30, 000, PPRA N10, 000 and PPMC N30, 000.”
“The marketer who invested his money will be given N100, 000 plus the draft value he raised. At the end of the day all the stakeholders will get the approved amount on each truck that’s loaded. The gains made through the fraudulent deals are multiplied by the number of trucks that load the products each day. My brother you will shock if you are told the several millions of naira this thieves in collaboration with our security men make in a day,” our source explained.
It was disclosed that the depot manager, Engr Maikano who hails from Katsina state has boasted that with the assistance of his Muslim brother, the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed. S. Abubakar, the case will not see the light of the day.
When contacted on these allegations, the depot manager, Engr Maikano, rebuffed all calls and a message to his mobile phone.