…the illegal revenue collectors were extorting scores of innocent victms before they were arrested
Two daredevil illegal revenue collectors terrorising residents, traders and road users in Onitsha, Anambra State have been arrested by local vigilante operatives while extorting money from traders who went to make purchases at the market.
The victims reportedly returned to their duty posts within Sokoto and Haruna roads’ axis, adjascent to Onitsha Main market, on the assumption that focus of the State Government that sacked them was on the conduct of ongoing elections.
The Daily Vendor gathered that the touts who were rounded up by the Vigilante following a tip-off were tortured before they were handed over to Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA Brigade).
“The illegal revenue collectors were extorting scores of innocent victms before the local vigilante group, on a tip off, stormed the scene where they were freely operating and arrested two of them while others took to their heels on sighting the security operatives,” a resident of the area said.
Reacting, Chairman of local vigilante group, Chief Emmanuel Anukenyi, said the suspect were caught while extorting traders who were transporting their goods to their different destinations.
He said, “We got the information that they were extorting traders who went to make purchases at the Onitsha Main market and were transporting their goods to their destinations.
“We told them earlier that they should vacate this place since the State Government has sacked them.
“The Governor said it is zero tolerance for touting and illegal revenue collection but holigans keep on terrorising traders and other road users.
“They are the people that also rob unsuspecting general public. They even confessed they don’t have any tangible means of livelihood.”
Anukenyi who doubles as Chairman of Haruna street traders’ Association said the suspects have been handed over to the operatives of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA Brigade)
“We don’t have alternative than to hand them over to the Ocha Brigade for necessary action because they have continued to terrorise the people despite their sack by the State Government,” he added.
On his part, Chairman of Sokoto Street market, Hon. EmekaMbachu Isimili, lamented that the activities of the touts were damaging the image of both the market leadership and state government.
“There are still others we will storm at their duty posts on Wednesday or thereabout, we must stop this rubish, they are about 20 in number at the place we will storm. They are damaging our image, so we will not allow them to continue to do that.
“They can now be spotted in different places where they are extorting the people. Governor Soludo has asked those that are not doing anything to come and join in the ‘One youth two skills initiative, that will later make one rich,” he revealed.