Some petroleum products’ marketers in Lagos have accused some oil companies of defrauding them of N400m.
It was gathered that the amount was paid to Florence Petroleum Limited, a customer of Kanthorn Oil, for the delivery of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol, which it failed to supply.
The marketers, who staged a protest at the tank farm of Techno Oil, Apapa, and the warehouse of Kanthorn Oil, on Friday, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to come to their aid.
One of the marketers, Mrs Monsurat Adenike, said she and her colleagues made payment for the product sometime in July 2019 after checking with Techno Oil.
She added that after the first batch of PMS was delivered, they had not received the outstanding product.
Adenike stated, “We paid to Florence Petroleum, which gets the product from Kanthorn Oil, around July, and the product was brought to Techno’s tank farm. But after the first delivery, we have been getting different excuses from them.
“Initially, Kanthorn Oil told us that it was doing reconciliation and afterwards, it said Florence Petroleum had overloaded the product; it’s surprising that Florence can overload products, because it is Kanthorn that usually sign out.
“We are crying out to Nigerians for help; we do not want to rely on the police again, because they didn’t do much to help us, rather, they were telling us that the IG had sent a letter on the matter, but we were not shown any letter.
“We are no longer interested in taking the product from Techno Oil, we want a refund of our money. We have evidence for all the payments.”
However, the spokespersons for Techno Oil, Mr Bob Onyeama and Folarin Odufuwa, denied the allegations, explaining that the firm had no direct dealings with the marketers.
“The marketers only came to do throughput with our company, so we expect them to go and clarify things with Kanthorn and Florence Petroleum and stop tarnishing our image,” they said.
The counsel for Kanthorn Oil, Adedayo Oshodi, denied the firm’s involvement in the matter.
Oshodi said, “It is true that we know Florence Oil. We have been doing business with the company; we have the product and Florence is like an agent, who brings customers to us. We give our products through the agent. Florence collected money for loading and we loaded for Florence, but it refused to give the product to the people that paid for it. We did not know all these until the marketers started complaining.
“There was no way we would have known what transpired between them, because we gave out the product through the agent that brought them. We loaded the product they paid for, so we don’t know why it refused to deliver the product.”
The Manager of Florence Petroleum, Okey Henry, said Kanthorn had refused to release the product after payment, adding that the matter was already before a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Henry stated, “On June 13, Kanthorn made a proposal that I should buy some products with the promise of giving me a discount. I was able to mobilise to get some money to the tune of N119m and paid into its account.
“Immediately I paid the money, I couldn’t reach it again and the next day, I had to write its bank. The bank confirmed to me that it received the money and released the product to the firm. So, when I finally got across to it, it started making claims that it overloaded me in the past and it had used the money to balance the account.
“If there was actually overloading, it had nothing to do with the customers or the money paid. Customers did not overload and they did not commit any crime. So, the customers will definitely get their money; it might just take some time.”