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Published On: Fri, Jul 20th, 2018

Police probe own officers’ involvement in extortion spree in Delta market

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From Osakhare Erese Asaba

Massive extortion of the traders at the popular Ogbeogono market in Asaba, Delta state by fraudsters who operate under the guise of the Oshimili South local government council agents, has set the traders in confusion Ogbeogonogo Market had in the past four years been engulfed in litany of crisis including leadership tussle, a situation that allegedly culminated in every day fight, and leadership struggle among the “Asaba Cabers’ fighting one another and the alleged use of charms to press home supremacy
Investigation revealed that these fraudsters have allegedly ripped off the traders N3.5million as estimated in the last one year,and most more often in last few months, have made lives unbeatable for many of the traders, especially for those who have no shops, but do their sales as squatters A trader, Marian Ochei who spoke to our reporter in Asaba said” every day, these agents who wear the council uniforms, collect from us N200,00 ,no ticket, nothing for us,for those of us who refuse to pay are beaten very well, and sometimes the refusers’ goods are destroyed, we are appealing to the council authorities to come to our aid” Sources said these agents bully anybody on sight during their daily illegal duty, and with impunity walk away after collecting money round the from the traders in the market Another trader who spoke to our reporter, Patricia Molokwu said “ we don’t have peace in this market, these fraudsters and agents collect N200,00 from us, sometimes, demand from us N300,00 ,We are calling on the council authorities to come to our aid, bring the fraudsters to Book “
Their Modus operandi, our informed sources said, is to dress in the council uniforms with security officers ,and as early as 9.30am have commence operations through illegal collection and outright extortion from the traders
But the council Chairman, Mr,Uche Osadebe who spoke to our reporter said “ we don’t have agents of such at the market, I think they are fraudsters, we are investigating the extortion, we will bring them to book, our revenue collectors are staffs of the council, and our revenue daily revenue is usually N100,00,the agents are thieves “ The Police Commissioner in the state, Mustafa Muhammad in a swift reaction said “we are investigating the police men who go with the fraudsters, we will bring them to book, we don’t anyway draft our police men to such things, it is illegal, and we get to the roots” Despite government’s directive to stop road trading, particularly at the front of the market, Scores of traders in the market have defiled the directive to bounce back in full swing to resume trading on the road and often times cause serious holdups But the Commissioner for Environment, Barr John Nani in a swift reaction said efforts were on to arrest the situation, adding the traders on the road when arrested, would be treated for violation of the laws

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