The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Aba branch has expressed concern over the indiscriminate arrest of resident by revenue agents in Aba.
Addressing a press conference in Aba, chairman of the branch, Mr. Chidozie Ogunji called on the Abia state government to check the activities of revenue agents who have made life difficult for residents of the city.
“Abia state government should check the activities of revenue contractors who go about arresting residents, detaining them before they are made to part with huge amounts of money to buy freedom. These summons as issued is paraded about as creating different offences including failure to pay fire extinguisher levy, security fee, borehole fee, washing of tank fee, residing fee, management fee, economic fee; amongst others.
“These revenue contractors claiming to be working for the government storm households accompanied by gun wielding policemen to arrest women, children, boys and girls. We will no longer tolerate this cash for freedom bazaar. We are set to discipline magistrates who are our members involved in the issuing of these illegal summons. The cries of Aba residents have reached high heavens.”
“We hereby call on the Abia state government to please stop the activities of these persons forthwith. The people have continued to curse the government believing that these merchant of arrest s and detention for cash are working for the government when they are actually working for their pockets. We wish to alert the government that detention camps have been all over the place for these forced fugitives held hostage for money” he said.
Narrating his ordeal to journalists at the event, Mrs Chioma Ajike, who works as a nurse at the Hopeville Special Hospital, Aba, said she was preparing to leave the Hospital after her night duty when a revenue team arrested her and was taken to the Cameroun Barracks Police station.
According to her, it took the intervention of the full executives of the NBA Aba and some officials of the Ministry of Justice for her to be released from police detention around 3.30pm.