Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A-56-old year woman, Ifeoma Obiorah, has been arrested by Anambra State Ministry of Transport taskforce against touting for allegedly selling fake vehicle emblems, tickets to commercial motorists in Onitsha.
The suspect was arrested by the task force known as Focus Initiative Against Touting (FIAT) at 17, Onitsha-Owerri road with over 12 fake vehicle emblems and tickets belonging to Anambra, Delta, Rivers states and Niger Delta in bid to clamp down on illegal revenue collectors in the state.
The arrest of Obiorah has brought to 40m the number of suspects so far arrested since this month for the illegal revenue collectors in Onitsha and its environs by the taskforce against touting.
The State Commissioner for Transport Dr Christian Madubuko who paraded the woman before the newsmen said that she would be arraigned in the mobile court and if found guilty would be jailed.
“They are sabotaging the revenue base of the state. They print fake vehicle emblems, tickets for Anambra, Rivers, Delta states and come here to sell them to innocent motorists. She said that Anambra State emblem is costly at N10, 000 while that of Delta is a bit cheaper at N4,000.
“So, when we got the information, we set a trap for her and sent one person to go and buy from her and she fell into the trap unknowingly. When we arrested her, we saw other fake emblems and tickets from other states. She mentioned another lady, one Chioma, who uses her for the business and we shall go after her wherever she may be in this country.
“No amount of intimidation or character assassination will stop us from arresting the criminals and their sponsors to sanitise the state. Arresting them is a step forward to get to their bosses. We want to appeal to the traders and motorists who visit Onitsha Main market and other markets in the state to feel free to come and make their purchase without any fear of harassment by the touts.
“I’m determined to fight the illegal revenue/tickets collectors to a finish because they are denying and diverting the state revenue of development. Our revenue is going down because of the sabotage by criminal elements. Anybody involved must be jailed,” Madubuko stated.
The suspect, Obiorah, said that the emblems were given to her by one Chioma to sell and collect a commission of N200 on each one sold, stressing that she didn’t know they were fake.
She said she is a retired nurse who has a chemist shop at the place and denied knowledge of printing fake emblems and tickets.