Anambra Traders Lament Brutality By NSCDC / ATMA Officials

 






Anambra Traders Lament Brutality By NSCDC / ATMA Officials.


By Nkiru Nwagbo


Date February 10th 2022


Traders in Anambra state came close to exchange of blows between them and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps NSDC and the Anambra Traffic Management Agency ATMA over payment of sanitation levy.


To this end traders and other businessmen in the state have sworn to attack any of the security personnels and officers of the Anambra State Revenue Agency found trying to collect money from them.


Trouble started at a popular bar and restaurant in Awka capital when members of the Civil Defence Corps and ATMA stormed the area and forcefully dragged a customer who was drinking at the bar into a Black Maria at gun point.


Similarly two members of the National Youth Service Corps NYSC working at the restaurant were also forced into the Black Maria at gun point when they could not find the owner of the restaurant.


Also at Onitsha Bridge Head three other person's were beaten blue black by security operatives when they insisted that they have paid their sanitation levies to the Onitsha South local government area who they said has the statutory right to collect sanitation levies and not sut the  Anambra Internal Revenue Board.


Narrating their respective ideals to reporters Mr Chukwudi Ndukwe said that he had come to eat at the restaurant and was drinking a glass of juice awaiting for his food when they stormed the area cocked their guns and asked him to enter the Black Maria.


I asked them my offence and they said that if I talk again they will fire me and they started pushing me into the Black Maria and even a lawyer that came to eat was warned not to talk or he would be bundled into the Black Maria.


They took me along with two other persons and dumped me at the Revenue House Awka inside another Black Maria parked under the sun and it took the intervention of staff of the agency for me to be released since I do not own the restaurant; he said.


One of the two Youth Corps members Mr Afam Okoye lamented that he and his colleague an account officer at the restaurant were arrested even though when they identified themselves as corps members.


They forced us into the Black Maria at gun point and released us after over two hours and we had earlier made them to speak with our boss and they cut the phone and bundled us into the Black Maria; he said.


At Onitsha traders are mounting road blocks and laying armbush for security operatives and revenue agents for a likely reprisal attack against them.


They alleged that they are being extorted by the tax force with the use of the Civil Defence officers.


When contacted the Public Relations Officer for NSCDC Mr  Edwin Okadigbo said that he is not aware of the incidence adding that he needs to be properly briefed before he can speak on the matter.

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