‘They alleged that the Commissioner perpetrated atrocities in different markets in the State’
A group of traders in Anambra State under the aegis of Anambra Elite Trader’s Forum has accused the Anambra State Commissioner for Commence and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, of commercializing Caretaker Committee membership in the State.
In the petition to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, copied to prominent politicians , religious leaders, human right community in the State and the NIgerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State chapter, the group said they want to intimate the Governor that the Commissioner is selling leadership offices in different markets in the State to the highest bidder.
The personalities the traders copied their petition include: Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Odua, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, Rt. Rev. O.C. Chiemeka, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, Most Rev. Alex Ibezim, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Rt. Rev. Ndubuisi Obi, Venerable Joseph Nweke, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, Comrade Aloysius Attah, Comrade Vincent Ezekweme, Dr. Emeka Odogwu Emeka, Chief of staff, Anambra state, Government House and Commissioner for Home Affair and Anambra State Government House Awka.
The petition which was signed by the duo of Chikeluba Odiche and Micheal Nwangwu alleged that the Commissioner perpetrated atrocities in different markets in the State, saying that it is for the governor to be aware of the danger such atrocities portend to his administration, markets and the State State in general.
The petition reads, “The bazaar has passed through many markets which includes Bridge-Head Market, Nkpor Main Market, Electronics Market Ogbaru, Ose Okwuodu Market, Ogbaru Main Market, NASPA Nnewi Market and several other Markets. In each of these Markets, the Commissioner for Trade and Market auctioned the different executive offices and positions,. Wherein traders paid varying sum of money for these positions. Dr. Ngonadi shamelessly collected these monies from these persons and sold off offices to these persons and subsequently drove out the lawful occupants of these offices”
They alleged that the Commissioner has been in the habit of disobeying court orders especially that of the New Autor Spare Parts by approving for the executive to go on with the construction of new shops on top of the existing ones owned by members of the association without their consent.
” It is a matter before the court of Appeal Awka with suit No. CA/AW/155/2022. Also, there is a pending motion for injunction and stay of execution at the Appeal Court too. But the Commissioner neglected all these facts and went ahead to tamper with the subject matter before the Court” the group said.
They further alleged that Dr. Ngonadi “motivated and emboldened by the filthy lucre collected from these power seeking traders, proceeded to ignore in a brazen manner, different court cases pending in respect of his unlawful removal of Market leaders.
” The action of this Commissioner has caused many traders in the market to institute different court cases in different law courts in the state. It might interest your Excellency to note that some of these cases involve not just the ministry and Dr. Ngonadi as parties, but also the Anambra state Government”.
The traders said at present, there are over forty Court cases pending in different courts against the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi and the Anambra state Government.
“It is noteworthy that these cases were provoked by the actions and recklessness of Dr. Ngonadi” the traders alleged.
They also said that in some of these cases he has been served with Form 48 in respect of Dr. Ngonadi’s recklessness and disobedience to order of the courts, adding that committal proceedings would soon be commence against him if he continues his disregard for the order of the courts.
They said that the action of the Commissioner is “utterly distasteful and paint the image of the state government black”, stressing that the state government is being projected by the Commissioner as one which has no respect for the judiciary.
They however, appealed to the Governor to critically look into the matter and ensure that the Commissioner is called to order and be made to retrace his footsteps as there is already tension in different markets in different parts of the State.
The traders also said the atmosphere is already charged, hence the Governor needs to urgently intervene to avoid the situation being escalated to uncontrollable level.
When contacted, Commissioner Ngonadi said responding to the allegations would amount to dignify those behind them, Insisting the markets had been peaceful.
“There are always petitions from people we stopped from benefiting from illegalities in form of diversion of government revenues, extortions and other criminal activities in the market.
“The markets are very peaceful now. The other allegations you stated are left for you to verify. I can’t possibly dignify them with a response,” he said.