The Anambra State government, yesterday at Onitsha and its environs, arrested at least fifteen suspected illegal revenue collectors.
This was disclosed by Mr. Anigbogu Stephen of the Ministry of Transport at the Government House, Awka, the state capital.
According to Mr. Anigbogu, the Commissioner for transport, Dr. Christian Madubuko led the clampdown on the illegal revenue collectors.
As a result, fifteen suspects with huge sum of money and fake receipts were arrested .
He, however, noted that out of the fifteen suspects arrested, only one is from Anambra while the rest are from neigbouring states.
“These are foot soldiers,” he stated. “They were all charged to court.”
He lamented that their activities deny Anambra State government of money that would been generated and used for the development of the state.
Recall that ElombahNews, on January 10, reported in a similar vein that Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, in a move reminiscent of former Governor Babatunde Fashola’s war against area boys in Lagos, took the battle for a safer Onitsha to the abode of touts and miscreants in the commercial city.
Over the years, Onitsha has enjoyed the unenviable reputation as the citadel of ferocious and menacing touts.
So dreadful was the place, especially the devilish exploits of illegal toll and tax collectors that the late Chief Pericoma Mezuo Okoye dedicated a track in his music album, ‘Nwanne ife n’eme na Upper Iweka, to narrate the nightmare of Upper Iweka, one of the menacing axes of Onitsha.
At the instance of Madubuko, the security experts discreetly trained 100 men on covert intelligence and armed them with gadgets to report real time activities of touts.
Because of the seriousnessof the project, Madubuko didn’t stop there; he sought for partnership with Focus Initiative Against Touts (FIAT) headed by Mr. Okwudili Ohanazoeze, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), Department Of State Service and the Military Intelligence.
Again on December 30, 2019, Madubuko led a battalion of Anambra Transport Management Agency (ATMA), a squadron of the OCHA brigade staff and other collaborating agencies to the Urban Terminal at Onitsha and declared a full scale war on touts.
A few arrests were made that day, and those arrested were handed over to the police. Madubuko warned all and sundry that there was no going back on the Governor’s directive.
On January 8, 2020, Madubuko led ‘Operation Jidefa’, the ‘Sting Operation’ was perfectly organized, and about 20 kingpins of illegal tolls were apprehended.
They were immediately taken to the Mobile Court at the Urban Terminal and tried with abounding, but worrisome evidence.
The money recovered from the touts attest is deeply shocking and revealing. It gives inkling into what the State government loses daily to illegal tolls and tickets.
Some fake tickets recovered from those apprehended.