Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 28 August 2015 | 4,128 times
About three hundred workers of an Onitsha-based indigenous company, BENDUSCO international company limited, yesterday marched to the office of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), demanding for the sack of the Director General and a director in the agency for fraudulent practices and frustration of indigenous companies in the state.
The protesters, who were mostly graduates blocked the capital city of Awka, Anambra State with placards with different inscriptions.
The demonstration, which was peaceful, attracted the attention of security operatives who were on hand to prevent any form of lawlessness led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of zone B, Mr. M. Shehu.
Some of the placards read: “Nigeria manufacturer’s rise up to your rights! Say no to Son dubious practices, millions of naira are being demanded by SON as a condition for issuing MANCAP certificate” “President Buhari, do not allow SON to frustrate your fight against corruption”,
“SON is frustrating indigenous factories for personal gain, enough is enough, refusal to give bribe to SON officials has led to evacuation of our factory machines and raw materials worth over 194m”,
“Mr. Bede Obayi must resign or be sacked, Director, inspectorate and compliance directorate of SON must go, SON is in contempt of court order”
Addressing Journalists after the protest, the leader of the group, Mr. Benjamin Nwizu, alleged that his life was being threatened by officials of SON for refusing to offer bribe.
He said based on what was happening in SON and the seizure of their factory equipment, the company wrote about seven letters to the Director-General without any reply till date.
Nwizu also alleged that one of the Directors invited him to Finotel hotel in Awka and when he came, the unnamed Director demanded from him the sum of N20m or he would frustrate the company, which according to him eventually happened.
Worst still, he said about two weeks ago, SON went to their Lagos office and made away with factory tools and machinery worth over 194 million naira after locked up the factory.
The company according to Nwizu, manufactures shaving stick, hanger etc, has suffered untold hardship in the hands of SON, saying that if the agency refuse to bring back their equipment that the workers were likely to lose their jobs and became unemployed again.
He called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate activities of SON before it ridiculed the president Mohammadu Buhari anti corruption efforts.
While addressing the protesters, a staff of the SON, Engr. Omeje Okwudili, assured them that justice must be done in the matter, promising to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
On the carter for the welfare of the public allegations of corruption, he said SON does not engage on such issues, rather, the agency was established to attend to the needs of the people.
•Photo shows protesters.
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