Water Tanker Drivers Protest Against Alleged Police Intimidation, Extortion by Unidentified Revenue Agents

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By Chukwudum Ebele

Some aggrieved members of the Water tanker Supply Association Idemili Chapter in Anambra state have expressed their displeasure over the indiscriminate arrest and alleged extortion of fourty thousand (40000 )naira from four of their members by One Mr Joe Akuzu Okafor in collaboration with officers of the Nigerian Police force.

They made this known during a peaceful protest around Nkpor and Obosi in Idemili North LGA in Anambra state on Thursday.

The protesters numbering over 20 bearing placards with Insricptions such as “Gov Soludo save us “,Gov Soludo we want to hear from you directly “,”We are on under siege ” among others ,called on the the state government and relevant authorities in the state to ascertain the authenticity of the levy being imposed on them.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters Mr Samuel Chigbo Chidi Nwokoye said Mr Joe Akuzu Okafor who claimed to be an IGR agent under the name of Happi Wandi concept for the state government served them a letter in December last year in which they were directed to make a weekly payment of 2500 as IGR ,but they told him that they were yet to receive any clear instruction to do so from the State government through any of its public communication channel and as such would seek further clarification before complying to the purported order.

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Also speaking one of the members of the association who was allegedly abducted by the police Mr Chukwuma Ozumba said it took the intervention of their lawyer who put the DPO in Nteje on notice of the activities of his men to order their release after paying ten thousand naira each.

“Yesterday after filling my tank with water at the borehole for the days work Mr Joe Akuzu came to arrest four of our members with police men who took them to Nteje Police station where they were made to part with 10 thousand naira each under duress .If not for the intervention of our members who reached out to our Lawyer ,only God knows what would have been our fate”

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Another member of the association Mr Ellias Onyama who decried the Ill treatment metted out on them noted that members of the association had never paid any form of IGR to the state coffers during the previous successive government in power and as such was in shock over the sudden purported directive considering the sacrifices the Association has made in terms of their efforts in combating fire oubreak in the state on numerous occassions.

“We have never heard of such a development before ,we do not have support from government,yet we have contributed in rescue mission during fire outbreak,and instead of thanking us,we are being told to pay tax,so if it’s true that the state government has imposed this levy on us then it’s is disheartening and insensitive to our plight”

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Meanwhile when contacted on telephone Mr Joe Akuzu Okafor said he was only carrying out the instruction of the state government and promised to release evidence of the mandate to collect revenue from the water tanker union within 24 hours from filling this report .

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