Anambra orders arrest of market leader for allegedly diverting N91m revenue
Governor Obiano of Anambra State
By Sunny A. David, Onitsha
The Anambra State Government has ordered the arrest of the Chairman of Ogbaru Main Market, Chief Victor Nwawuzie and Mr. Willie Chimaroke, over alleged diversion of N91 million government revenue.
The State Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Market and Wealth Creation, Mr. Christian Madubuko, handed the order when he visited the market on inspection tour at the market near Onitsha.
He said the two suspects allegedly engaged in forgery, printing of fake receipts, signing and countersigning of government receipts as well as use of personal seals without authorisation.
“First of all, we discovered that many receipts dated from 2016 in the president-general’s office were not issued to recipients.
“We discovered in his financial book that fake and original POS were also used to collect revenue in 2016 and part of 2017.
“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,” he said.
Mr. Madubuko said 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.
He also said the suspects collected N11, 654, 201 and N4, 174, 600 from Jan. 8, 2018 to June 22, 2018.
However, the Commissioner said the state government had not given any authorisation for the collection of sanitation levies for 2018.
According to him, from April 25, 2018 to June 12, 2018, the suspects paid N15, 337, 620 into government account as money for stallage, tax and development levies.
“From the record book also, they collected N8, 700, 000 from Dec. 12 to Dec. 22, 2017 while from Jan. 8, 2018 to March 23, 2018 they collected N7,966,700.
“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.
“In 2017, stallage fees, 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?” he asked.
The Commissioner said the total money collected by the suspects was N119, 093,121 while the amount paid to government account was N23, 755,860.
According to him, government will not tolerate a situation where people divert its revenue without proper accountability.
But in an interview with our correspondent, the two suspects, who were arrested by personnel of the DSS, denied the allegations, saying the claims were masterminded by opposition elements who do not want the progress of the market.