N200 Million allegations tear ASMATA apart,as President, Ekwegbalu in soup
Crisis is brewing in Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) as the association has accused its president, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, of corruption, mismanagement of office and gross misappropriation of funds accruing to the association worth over Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000, reports www.odogwublog.com.
In a letter dated November 4th and
signed by the Provost Kenneth Amakeze and PRO, Hon. Sunday Anako, , on behalf of others, they urged the state government to expedite actions and look into the activities of the association before it’s too late.
According to the letter sighted by www.odogwublog.com which was addressed to the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Obinna Ngonadi, alleged that Ekwegbalu and his allies were not duly elected into positions, noting that traders were not allowed into the hall and other candidates locked out from the election Hall.
The letter also said the PG did not meet any criteria to be elected a President General of the market to serve them, since the constitution said only someone elected as a market Chairman of a government owned market can be president, stressing that the person so elected must own a shop and trades in the same market. In all these conditions,he didn’t merit.
www.odogwublog.com observed that the letter titled: ‘Complaints Of Corruption And Abuse Of Public Office Against The President General Of ASMATA Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu’ said “We the Executive Members of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association (ASMATA) humbly bring to your notice the excessive corrupt practices and fragrant abuse of public office by the President General of ASMATA Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu.
The letter stated that over twenty eight million naira the association realised from the sales of ASMATA tickets from 2019 has not been accounted for under the Ekwegbalu leadership.
The letter further said the PG has been collecting varrying amounts and levies from the plazas and other markets in the state without proper account for the monies collected with the name of the union.
It disclosed that Ziks avenue pays N80,000 weekly to the association’s coffers, while Ufuma plaza, Okija Amaka, Bida Street, Sokoto road street market, Haruna street market remits twenty thousand naira to the association.
It also said Hebrew fish near Ochanja and Dan Bright main market by Ose market pays N100,000 weekly, respectively into the account but was not being properly accounted for.
Exposing the corruption in the association, it said the PG and the excos were installed despite not being elected by the association members. It alleged that the PG organized Abakailiki boys as ASMATA Taskforce against the wishes of his executives, and for selfish interest
According to them, the diversion of funds and other criminalities was made possible due to the executive and political backings the PG enjoys in the state. “Many shops had been sold in several markets across the state without commensurate accounts of the money nor remit it equivalence into the association’s purse.
“Markets constructing new shops normally allocate few shops for the association, but the PG sold all without leaving any amount for ASMATA. 3 shops were given to the association at the rate of 4 million each, total N12,000,000 not accounted for,” the excos lamented.”
They also said similar sells had taken place at Bridge Head Market (Ogbo Ogwu), Ogbo Osisi Bridge Head, Ose Okwudu Market, Electrical Market Obosi, Timber Market Umuokpu Awka, Ogbunike Aluminium Union.
They called on the state government to ensure the PG render proper account of his office and to refund fund accruing to the association found to be stolen under the PG’s leadership in the association.