From Mba Nnenna – Abakaliki.
A 2 term former Chairman Abakaliki Rice mill, Mr Joseph Ununu has reportedly engaged in a fight with the management of Abakaliki Rice Mill over alleged fraud involvement at the company.
Ununu, a lawmaker representing Abakaliki south constituency in the early hours of the day, had resisted a team of taskforce during a routine check on the activities of individuals selling rice using wrong scale.
The lawmaker allegedly threatened to remove the incumbent chairman who was duly elected, when he eventually becomes a deputy speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Trouble started when Mrs Nnena Ununu, one of the wives of the lawmaker was discovered to have imposed illegal levies on women’s wing as their leader and encouraged them to use the wrong scale for business.
She boasted that the rice mill chairman would do nothing to stop her because of the protection of her husband, and when the team of taskforce arrived at her shop, she called the lawmaker who came with a team of thugs and dispersed them.
An anonymous eye witness revealed that,
“On the 13th of March, it was discovered that Mrs Nnena Ununu, the wife of the Honorable member representing Abakaliki south, who happens to be the head of the market women imposed an unauthorized levy on them.
“She asked them to pay the money forcefully to amend their scale, by making sure that anybody who is coming to buy rice in Line C buys 17 kg instead of the 25 kg standard measurement.
“When it got to the attention of the rice mill chairman, he swung into action and dissolved the executives of the union and told her not to pilot the affairs, he then appointed a 7-man committee to confiscate those adjusted scales.” She said.
Mr Linus Obeji, chairman of the rice mill company who confirmed the incident described it as unfortunate, that a former chairman of the company who is now a lawmaker would abandon his legislative function to encourage his wife who allegedly sponsored the bad practice and create bad image for the State.
“We summoned all the market women and told them that such evil cannot prevail in Abakaliki rice mill, that we are determined to make things right.
“Nobody whatever, no matter how highly placed you are can do such evil against the people of the rice mill, against our customers, and the government of Ebonyi State who stands against corruption.
“Today, the committee went to confiscate those adjusted scales and were attacked by Chidinma Ununu, (daughter of the lawmaker) who took the phone of the pressmen that came to Cover the event.
“The wife immediately called her husband who came with his boys and chased them out, bragging that he would use his gun and kill anyone that comes to his shop.
“He said he has institutionalized the practice and no one can stop him, he fought them. The question is; Is he now the owner of the rice mill or has he left legislative function to impose himself on us? He should leave us alone”. Obeji added
Also, Chairman of the task force committee, Mr. Chikodili Ibe, other members, Mrs. Ann Nwofenyi and Fidelia Nwam, while condemning the lawmaker’s action, appealed to the State Government to caution him to leave the rice mill company and focus on his legislative duties.
“We are begging His Excellency Engr David Nweze Umahi to warn Nnena and Joseph Ununu to leave the rice mill and focus on his job. Let him allow us to run the business and satisfy our customers, Abakaliki rice mill does not need any fraud against our customers,” they appealed.