By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
No fewer than 75 illegal revenue collectors in Anambra State have been nabbed and imprisoned by the state government.
The state Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Dr Christian Madubuko disclosed this on Monday while parading three defaulters at the Ministry in Awka over alleged illegal revenue collection.
They include, a prominent chief in the state, Francis Eze, and two others.
The commissioner said the state Governor, Willie Obiano has frowned at the fact some people were still going on with extortion of money from traders despite the state government’s ban on all forms of levies in the state.
He said, “We have prosecuted and jailed no fewer than 75 of such people. They are currently languishing in various prisons in the state, especially in Onitsha and Awka.
“From what they are saying you can see that they are earning a living from innocent traders and we are doing our best to stop them.”
But Eze insisted he got authorisation from Aguata LGA before building the shops, which according to him was where he collected levies from traders.
He said, “I bought the piece of land for over N5m and was advised by the monarch of the area to get a permit from the council before developing the property.”
The commissioner however opposes his statement saying that “Local governments don’t have such authority. Hence they should not have been authorised in the first place.
According to him, the state government had told all LGAs that for them to give such approval they must first liaise with the ministry of trade and commerce insisting that the ministry did not not authorise anybody to build any market in the area.
The state government further threatened to arrest a traditional ruler in Aguata LGA allegedly implicated in the deal.