More than 70 illegal revenue collectors have been arrested by operatives of the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA.
The task force, also known as OCHA Brigade, caught the offenders at various locations in Onitsha, Nkpor and Ekwulobia in Anambra state.
Despite efforts by the state government to ensure that citizens pay a uniform and single revenue through the POS collection terminals, illegal revenue collection agents have constantly defied the law.
The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, launched the use of the Point of Sale Terminal on February 29, 2016 for the collection of revenue, to eliminate the cash payment system, issues of multiple payment of revenue as well as fraudulent and illegal collection of revenue.
However, as the POS system was launched, several groups appeared to have set up their own machinery and unleashed terror on the people in various commercial cities in the state.
They employed a system of using tickets and stickers to collect at least 500 naira on daily basis, from the hapless citizens of the state, subjecting them to unnecessary hardship as a result of multiple taxation, molestation, harassment and seizure of vehicles as well as motorcycles.
The complaints led the Governor to set up the task force to raid their areas of operation and bring the culprits to book.
According to the leader of the Task Force and Superintendent of the OCHA Brigade, Mr Kenenth Okonkwo, the directive from Governor Willie Obiano was to “totally clamp down on the hoodlums and continue the raid until every part of the state is sanitised.”
In Aguata and Ekwulobia community, the task force burst a notorious group that had been intimidating and extorting money from the people in the various markets in the community, parks, and even during marriage and burial ceremonies.
In Onitsha, over 40 of the revenue collectors have been nabbed and the leader of the Task Force and Superintendent of ‘Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra’ maintained that “the effort to rid the street of the unscrupulous elements must be sustained.”
Over 20 people were also arrested at another location and according to Mr Kenneth, all of them would eventually be charged to court.
As the manhunt for the illegal revenue collectors rages on, traders, motorists, motorcyclists and many who have fallen victim to the molestation and extortion of the hoodlums relayed their experiences to Channels Television.
Seizure of vehicles and motorcycles seemed to be their stock in trade as in a secluded corner, numerous vehicles and motorcycles were parked waiting for redemption at a price.
Many of the motorcycles were over-run by weed as they had been parked for so long.
The development brought immense joy to the people who pledged solidarity to the Governor, urging him to continue with the effort for a better, peaceful and prosperous Anambra. – Channels TV
– Sept. 16, 2016 @ 9:40 GMT |