By newscritic Reporters
The Amalgamated Tricycle Operators Association, ASATOA, of Abia State has been accused of sabotaging the Abia State Internally Generated Revenue policy through the printing and sales of unauthorized government revenue materials such as Emblems, Stickers and Fake MOT forms to tricycle operators.
Also the transport union was accused of short-changing and misappropriation of the association’s funds to the tune of N694.5 million between July 2014 to May 2019, without paying anything to the Abia State Government coffers, whilst the stated amount is realised government revenue.
These allegations were contained in a petition written by the Tricycle Owners’ Association of Nigeria, TOAN, Abia State against Comrade Eugene Eze Job and Osita Ukaumunna for themselves and the executive committee of Abia State Amalgamated Tricycle Operators Association, ASATOA. The petition was addressed to the Department of State Security, DSS, Abia State and signed by comrade Ekeleme Kingsley and Augustine Chionye, chairman and secretary respectively.
The TOAN said the reasons for the unwarranted attacks on the union and its members through police arrests and detention and seizure of their tricycles, including false arraignments is for them not to expose the organise crime enterprise the ASATOA is running in the state.
In the petition TOAN also alleged that ASATOA is threatened by the existence of TOAN which is a registered trade union, unlike the later which has no formal registration. The petition alleged that the criminal activities being perpetrated by ASATOA include sabotaging Abia State IGR policy by not accounting for and faking of MOT number/form.
It said “this number has been faked making the state to lose over N46.9 million between January 2019 to May 2019. Also is the substitution of Abia state government daily ticket of N100 with National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, ticket, as well as the printing and sales of unauthorized government revenue materials by the state government”.
TOAN stressed that “a whopping sum of N794.2 million has been realised by the leadership of ASATOA since July 2014 to May 2019 on government revenue materials without remitting same to the government. That you equally order for the investigation/disclosure of which bank account the association, ASATOA, banks the association’s money or how the money were spent”.
“That comrade Eugene Eze Job and his leadership should stop the arrests and detention of our members who obtained the genuine MOT number from SCUD Miscellaneous Ltd, the authorised agent of the state government through the ministry of Transport to issue MOT number to tricycle operators.
NewsCritic reports that the tricycle unions are having a running battle over the control of the tricycle business in Abia with ASATOA using state power to disrupt the operations of TOAN a sister union. Police arrests of TOAN members and impoundment of their tricycle and arraignment in courts are common feature of the battle to stop the operations of TOAN, which said it is a registered trade union.