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Published On: Sun, May 11th, 2014

Transport: FCTA mulls prosecution of SECDAA over illegal charges

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bala fct ministerBy Stanley Onyekwere

T he Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it may prosecute the FCT Chairman of Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association Abuja (SECDAA), Okorie Uche Victor and his executives, for alleged impersonation and extortion of commercial drivers in the Territory.

According to the Secretary, FCT Transport Secretariat, Mr. Jonathan Invoke, who gave this indication, SECDAA Task Force, is an illegal organisation, illegally collecting money from unsuspecting people (motorists) in the FCT.

However, SECDAA is one of the five FCTA licenced operators, with the mandate to provide taxi and bus services in the territory for seamless intra city transportation by commuters.

It was gathered that SECDAA had in a document entitled: ‘Non-Compliance Notice’, warned defaulters of its membership registration must pay a total sum of N16, 500 even as it warned that any defaulter would have his vehicle impounded and failure to pay the fine after one month, SECDAA cannot be held for damages on the vehicle.

In the document, the charges are broken into three categories of Full Registration attracting a fine of N10, 000; Driver’s Biometric ID card N1, 500 and vehicle registration vehicle data capturing (Biometric) N5, 000 charges, all claimed to be in collaboration with the FCTA.

Meanwhile, Invoke, in an interview, strongly denied any alleged collaboration between the Administration and SECDAA, in the alleged none compliance fees which he said was an “extortion” of unsuspecting commercial truck drivers in Abuja.

He maintained that the transport secretariat was not part of any revenue drive in collaboration with any licenced operators in the transport sector of the Territory, and warned that any licenced operator found wanting will be prosecuted.

According to him, the administration was informed about a week ago that SECDAA was extorting the sum of N16, 500 from Truck drivers, whose operations does not even fall within her mandate which is restricted to taxis and buses.

“There is a group of people who call themselves as SECDAA Task force. It is an illegal organisation, illegally collecting money from unsuspecting people.

“This is not true, this is false. This is illegal; we went round looking for them to arrest them. I invited Okorie to my office this afternoon and he is going to be prosecuted,” the Secretary said.

Displaying a copy of the said document which served as notice and may suffice as evidence of payment by any person who may have been arrested by the Association’s Task Force, he said: “I collected this document I am showing to where they printed the name of the FCTA and Transport Secretariat claiming that they are doing collections in collaboration with Government.

“The chairman of SECDAA in FCT will report to the mobile court, as we are approaching the solution through our mobile court system. We believe that this illegality is across the board. All of them are guilty of extortion, we have noticed it and we are dealing with it.

“We have made two arrest of town people who claimed to be working for an organisation we do not know about,” Ivoke said.

He added that the illegal activities of SECDAA became very visible last week upon which he invited all the leaders of the licensed transport bodies to his office and warned them to make sure that they do not do anything illegal in the FCT.

Peoples Daily learnt that both men were picked at the LEA Primary School Damagaza junction at Lokogoma, where they allegedly mounted road block in company of other members, and were collecting money from vehicles plying that route, during the tour of various parts of the city in search of the suspected SECDAA officials on the road.

However, the suspects who could not identify themselves said they were posted to the road by the National Freight and Haulage of Nigeria to collect fees from buses, trucks and cars on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

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