Traders protest, accuse Commissioner of disobeying court orders, petition Soludo

Traders protest, accuse Commissioner of disobeying court orders, petition Soludo

…alleging that traders are being abused and maimed

Traders of Anambra State under the aegis of Anambra Elite Trader’s Forum (AETF) has sent another petition to Governor Chukwuma Soludo over alleged unwholesome activities in Anambra markets by Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi.

They appealed to the Governor to prevail on the Commissioner to obey Court orders especially as it affects Electronics Market, Ogbaru Main Market, Nkpor Main market and Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor.

The petition, tagged: “Re-Sale of Market Leadership Offices and Other Attrocities being perpetrated  by Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry: Reaction To Dr.Obinna’s  Response” was signed by Chief Chikeluba Odiche and Mr. Michael Nwangwu, 

The petition made available to Journalists in Onitsha was also copied to prominent politicians, religious leaders, human right community and State chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The personalities the traders copied their petition include: Senator Ifeanyi Uba, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Odua, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, 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, The Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) Anambra State Chapter, Comrade Aloysius Attah, Comrade Vincent Ezekweme of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO),  the Chairman Anambra State Chapter, Nigerian Union of Journalists and Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly.

The traders alleged that the Commissioner lied in his response to their earlier petition by denying that he has not turned  Anambra State Markets into bazaar of sort.

They said that the  Commissioner was economical with the truth as evidence abound that the Commissioner collected various sums of money from those he appointed Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members.

The Commissioner, they said, also denied disobeying court orders and claimed that only two cases from Anambra Markets are pending  before  High Courts in the State , while one has been withdrawn.

But the traders said no case from the Market has been withdrawn and the Court of Appeal in making an injunctive order stopping the Executives of Nkpor Motor Spare Parts Market from further erecting of shops at the Market lashed at the Market leaders for continuing the work with the authority of the Commissioner who they claimed is their business partner.

They alleged that the Commissioner is expected to make over eighty million naira from building of  over one thousand shops at the  Nkpor Auto Spare Parts Market.

” It is this expected money from the shops at Nkpor Spare Parts that is making Dr. Ngonadi to recklessly disobey Court orders” they alleged.

They said most Markets in the state have dragged the Commissioner to Court, saying that Court gave an order for status quo ante bellum to be maintained in Ogbaru Main Market and Electronics Dealers Market but he defied those orders, sacked the elected leadership and replaced them with Caretaker Committees.

Noting that the Commissioner’s undue interest in Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor has brought the State Government to ridicule and embarrassment.

They said: “The actions of Dr. Ngonadi particularly disobedience to Court orders, projects the State Government as a state which has no respect forJudiciary. This may set the government on collision course with the judiciary”.

The traders noted that contrary to Dr.Ngonadi’ s falsehood that the Markets  are peaceful, there is no peace in any market in the State.

They said there is crisis in Oseokwodu Market where Ajasa Market wants to go their separate ways and thugs were being used to harass the traders.

At Nkpor Main Market, they alleged that traders are being abused and maimed, while tension continue to build at Electronics Market where Commissioner insisted that non-Anambra traders would not hold any office.

The traders appealed to the Governor to intervene in what is going on in Anambra Markets before the situation degenerates to loss of lives and destruction of properties.

“We still pray your Excellency to direct the Commissioner to reinstate the duly elected Market Chairmen who were unjustly  and unlawfully removed from office. It is only this that may avert the looming danger” the traders appealed to the Governor.

But speaking through his Administrative Assistant, Chuka Okeke, the Commissioner dismissed the allegations, insisting that there are only two cases against the Commissioner from the markets in Ogbaru Main market and Electronics market.

He said the cases in Auto Spare Parts in Nkpor and Nkpor Main market preceded the Commissioner Ngonadi.

He also denied that the Commissioner collected money from traders who were made Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members.

Okeke described as baseless and childish allegations that the Commissioner collected money from those who were appointed Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members.

He said on the contrary it was the traders who wanted to corrupt the Commissioner but he turned them down.

He said it is not just anybody that was appointed into the Caretaker Committee, stressing that the people that thought  they would be the chairmen of the markets  were not because they profiled all the people that were appointed to make sure that they are competent and honest people.

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