Aba Traders Protest Over Extortion, Illegal Levies By Aba South Revenue Agents

Several thousands of traders drawn from the textile Market at Mosque/ Etchie Roads Aba, on Thursday April 20 took to the streets to protest against alleged extortion by an organized group masquerading as government revenue collectors.

The traders decried the unwholesome activities of a group purportedly led by one Chief Agu Eke (aka ) Eze- elect, who they claimed have been collecting all manners of illegal levies from them in the last few years, noting that the extortion has become unbearable and intolerable, hence their decision to embark on the protest.

The protest march which took the traders to some radio stations in the commercial hub of the state, had over 5000 traders dealing on textile materials at the Mosque/ Etchie Road market participating.

Chief Dickson Orisa, their chairman who spoke with NewsCritic online, accused Chief Eke of extorting the traders every now and then, forcing traders to pay him and his group as much as #5000 each, he added that all efforts to check the ugly trend by the state authorities have so far failed, forcing them to take their plight to the public domain.

But reacting,Chief Eke described the accusations by the traders as not only baseless but unfounded. In a telephone interview with the NewsCritic online, he said whatever fees they are collecting from the traders are legally approved by the authorities of Aba South Local Council, adding that the accusations of extorting the traders are totally misplaced.

“What we are asking the traders to pay as ad hoc staff charged with the responsibilities of collecting revenues for the council are legal fees. There is the payment of what is called Temporary Structured Revenue, and rents payable by those whose wares are displayed along the road. In all what is being paid by each annually is about between #4000 and #5000. So, I don’t understand why the cry of extortion by the traders, Chief Eke said.

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