Anambra: market chairman accused of #1.6m extortion, high handedness

Anambra: market chairman accused of #1.6m extortion, high handedness


Anambra: market chairman accused of #1.6m extortion, high handedness 

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

The Caretaker Committee chairman of Onitsha Bridge head market, Anambra State, Hon. Chinedu Ezekweike Akweke, is now in trouble as 11 out of the 13 member committee allegedly passed a vote of no confidence on him and petitioned Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, over #1.6million extortion and high handedness by the chairman.

In the petition, termed, 'Coalition of 11 out of 13 member of Bridge head Market Traders Association Caretaker Committee,' they tendered an unreserved apologies to the governor for what they described as the unruly behavior of  the chairman who they stated, single handedly extorted the sum of #1.6million from traders.

The traders he allegedly extorted were those who volunteered their 32 shops for demolition for the excavators to gain access to quench the inferno occasioned by chemical explosion on 8th November 2022, in which eight people were reportedly killed.

He was said to have embarked on the reconstruction of those demolished shops without due authorization which prompted the governor to order him to stop work.

"The said extortion became the major reason for disobedience to government directives, misrepresentation of facts which has embarrassed not only the traders at Bridge head market but the entire Government of Anambra State.

"Previously, we had written to Mr. Governor concerning the high handedness, embezzlement of association funds and sidelining of the entire committee officers and members in the running of the association by Hon. Chinedu Ezekwike.

"Knowing fully well that government only depends on its Internally
Generated Revenues, (IGR), to function, that the criminal looting of government revenues of the past regime would not repeat itself in our time, that Mr. Governor would set up a probe not only on Hon. Ezekwike but also the past regime of Mr. Sunday Obinze," they stated.

They hinted further that as the letter to Mr. Governor against Ezekwike, was awaiting governor's approval, another series of sacrilegious and unbecoming attitude of Ezekwike, raised its ugly head in quick secession.

They told the Governor that, they, 11 members of the 13 committee members, have since distanced  themselves from Ezekwike's impunities and disrespect to constituted authorities, in connivance with his predecessor Mr. Sunday Obinze.

Paying glowing tribute to the governor, they stated that the partnership they have with the prezent administration of their dreams remained unshaken despite the impunities of Hon. Ezekwike and his co travelers.

Among the 11 members that were said to have petitioned the Governor included, Chief Peter Okeke, Mr. John Nwosu, Comrade Paschal Ezekwere, Sir Nobert Okoli, Hon Obinna Umeh, Sir Peter Okala, Chief Bonaventure Ucheagwu,  Hon Chimezie Ohaii, Mrs. Martina Uzowulu, Hon Odera Nwosu and Mr. Chibuike Okereke

The petition was copied the chairman, B.O.T, Bridge head Market Traders Association and President General, Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association

In a swift reaction when contacted, the embattled chairman, Ezekweike, admitted having a copy of the petition but denied the allegations levelled against him stating that he never extorted the traders but rather that the Governor ordered him to stop work which he did.

"Mr Governor personally called me on phone and we discussed as father and son and he told me to stop work which I did. If they say I extorted the traders whose shops were demolished, let them show prove of the extortion," he stated 

He also admitted that a petition against him by the 11-committee member was sent to the governor but stated however that it may not be all the 11 members that were against him.

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