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Two market leaders arrested in Anambra over N91m revenue diversion

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 15/07/2018

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•Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano
•Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano

The Anambra Government has arrested two traders from Ogbaru main market, near the commercial city of Onitsha for alleged diversion of N91 million government revenue.

The two suspects who include the president General of Ogbaru main market, Chief Victor Nwanwuzie and Willie Chimaroke were arrested for allegedly engaging in forgery, printing of fake receipts, signing and countersigning of government receipts as well as use of personal seals without authorisation.

The state Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Market and Wealth Creation, Mr. Christian Madubuko, gave the order of arrest when he visited the market on inspection tour.

Speaking in the market, the commissioner said that many receipts dated from 2016 in the president general's office were not issued to recipients, adding that fake and original POS were also been also used to collect revenue, not only in 2016 but 2017 as well.

He said: “The two suspects engaged in forgery, printing of fake receipts, signing and countersigning of government receipts as well as use of personal seals without authorisation.

“From Sept. 18, 2016, to Feb. 22, 2017, the suspects collected stallage development levies amounting to N28, 757, 014 out of which they only paid into the government purse, N7,681,440.

“The suspects, between Sept. 18, 2016 to Dec. 22, 2017, collected N6, 840,600 as sanitation levies out of which only N736,800 was remitted to government. They also collected N11,654,201 and N4,174,600 as sanitation levies from Jan. 8, 2018 to June 22, 2018. From April 25, 2018 to June 12, 2018, the suspects paid N15,337,620 into government account as money for stallage, tax and development.”

Madubuko explained that the state government had not given any authorisation for the collection of sanitation levies for 2018.

He further noted that from the record book obtained from the PG’s office, they collected N8.7 million from Dec. 12 to Dec. 22, 2017 while from Jan. 8, 2018 to March 23, 2018 they collected above N7m.

“In summary, stallage, development and tax fees in 2016, as well as fake POS revenue, amounted to N47,000,000 were collected but not paid to government account.

While saying that the total money collected by the suspects was N119,093,121, he said that only N23,755,88) 60 was paid into government coffers.

He added: “Development levy and tax within the period amounted to N28,757,014 out of which he paid only N7,681,440.

“In 2018, stallage, development and tax, N11,654,207 out of which he paid N15,337,620,” where did the deficit come from?”

The commissioner warned that government will not tolerate a situation where people divert its revenue without proper accountability.

The two suspects who were arrested by personnel of the DSS, however, denied the allegations saying it was masterminded by the opposition, who do not have the interest of the market at heart.

Source News Express

Posted 15/07/2018 05:57:50 AM





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