… Keke, Okada operators call on EFCC for their arrest
By Godwin Utuedoye,
The National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association, (NACTOMORAS) Delta State Chapter, has alleged that its welfare tickets fund amounting to N2.5 billion have been looted by some highly placed Delta state PDP officials.
In a press briefing held recently at the group head office at Broka Plaza Udu Road, Ovwian in Udu Local Government Area, the state chairman of NACTOMORAS Comrade Godwin Ikolo disclosed that Executives of Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycle Operators Association of Delta State (CMTOADS), has misapplied, mismanaged and looted the proceeds from the daily collection of welfare ticket rates.
He accused the executive led by Prince Okeoghene Miller, Mr. Emmauel Afatakpa, Mr. Augustine Oronimighwu and Chief Godday Obi Nzete of conniving with some officials of Delta State Directorate of Transport, to misapply and misappropriate government daily permit tickets from Tricycle & Motorcycle Operators in Delta State.
Comrade Ikolo who also doubles as the National PRO of (NACTOMORAS), had on October 10, 2016 wrote a petition on behalf of members (NACTOMORAS), Delta State Chapter to EFCC alleging that (CMTOADS) and its agents had misapplied, mismanaged and looted the proceeds from the daily collection of welfare ticket rates and government daily permit tickets from Tricycle & Motorcycle Operators in Delta State in connivance with officials of the Delta State Directorate of Transport. ALSO READ Catholic Church in Sapele endorses Anirah for House of Assembly
He disclosed that on the account of his petition to the EFCC, the Executives and Members of the Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycle Operators Association of Delta State were invited by the EFFC to its Enugu Zonal office to respond to the allegation of embezzlement and fraud leveled against them by the state chapter of NACTOMORAS.
Ikolo stressed that though some of the executive honoured the EFCC invitation and statements obtained from them and were granted administrative bail, Chief Obi Nzete whom he said is the present Delta State Secretary of the PDP and Augustine Oronimiwhu never honoured the invitation.
He stated further that rather than honouring the EFFC invitation, Nzete and Oronimiwhu hurriedly went to the court to institute a fundamental right suits against him, Comr. Godwin Ikolo and EFCC at the Federal High Court, Asaba Delta State praying the court give a declaration that the arrest and detention of Prince Okeoghene Miller and Comrade Emmanuel Afatakpa and their continuous invitation by the EFCC on the instance and instigation of Comrade Godwin Ikolo is illegal, unconstitutional, unlawful and a gross violation of their fundamental rights.
To this end, an order of perpetual injunction restraining Comrade Godwin Ikolo, the Respondents from either by themselves, agents, privies, servants or whoever acting through them, for them from further arresting, detaining or inviting them, the Applicants in respect/regard to the circumstance of the said case including the award of a sum of N500,000,000.00 amongst others as damages against the Respondents, Comr. Godwin Ikolo and EFCC.
He said they also prayed the Court to compel the Respondents, Comr. Godwin Ikolo and EFCC to tender unreserved and unqualified apology to them in one national daily and One Local Circulating Paper. ALSO READ:PDP National Chairman receives APC defectors in Buhari’s home state, says PDP will oust APC
Comrade Ikolo said despite their frivolous allegation and attack on him and other members, (NACTOMORAS) and the EFCC got victory at the Federal High Court, Asaba on February 23, 2018 in a judgment delivered by Honourable Justice O.E. Abang over a fundamental Rights Suit No. FHC/ASB/CS/22/2017 filed against NACTOMORAS and the EFFC by Prince Okeoghene Miller, Comrade Emmanuel Afatakpa, Augustine Oronimiwhu and Chief Obi Nzete as applicants.
He allege that though they got judgment Chief Obi Nzete, his cohorts and their agents still go about maiming her members and forcefully extorting money from them.
Quoting from the judgment which read in parts; “On the claims by the Applicants that the 1st Respondent’s petition, Comr. Godwin Ikolo to EFCC is “frivolous and spurious.”
“The court held that the allegation of fraud being perpetuated by the Applicants in the 1st Respondent’s letter of petition to the 2nd respondent is a Criminal offence.
On the claim for damages or claim for the Respondents, Comr. Godwin Ikolo and EFCC to tender unreserved and unqualified apology to the Applicants, “the court held that the Respondents did not in any way violate the fundamental rights of the Applicants and as such their claims lack merit.
The court however dismissed the Applicants suit for lack of merit with cost of N25, 000.00 awarded each in favour of the 1st and 2nd Respondents payable by the Applicants jointly and severally.
Comrade Godwin Ikolo who was joined by other executives and members of NACTOMORAS from all the local government council area in the state however appeal on behalf of motorcyclists and tricycles operators to EFCC to continue investigation and as well arrest the 3rd and 4th Applicants in the suit, Mr. Augustine Oronimihwu and Chief Obi Nzete.
He said Chief Obi Nzete is the state president of the Applicants Union/Association and also doubled as Tax consultant to the Delta State Government and he is the present Delta State PDP Secretary.
Comrade Ikolo further hailed and commends the courage of Hon. Justice O.E. Abang for setting this standard for record and posterity purposes and also as a reference point that fraudsters/looters of public funds would no longer use the courts to pervert the cause of justice. He maintained that the judiciary is truly the last hope of the common man.
Meanwhile, Comrade Ikolo has cautioned electorates to be mindful of those to be voted to represent them in the forth coming general election. He said it is very pertinent to vote only those who have the interest of the common man at heart.
He accused the Hon. Vincent Uduaghan, Transport Commissioner in Delta State, Hon. Benson Igbakpa, a House of representative hopeful, Comrade Mike Okeme, former NLC chairman Delta State and Engr. Victor Omoniyi, both officials of the Delta State Directorate of Transport, for been insensitive to the plight of Tricycle and Motorcycle operator.
He said it was Comr. Mike Okeme who introduces the Okada Riders Welfare ticket rate in year 2009 through the tactical support of the Delta State Government in conjunction with the Directorate of Ministry of Transport.
He alleged that the enforcement of the collection of the said daily “Welfare rates” from Okada Riders in the state was sustained through the use of criminal touts, thugs, the Nigeria police and military officers who were dehumanizing protesting riders over the daily tickets.
He further revealed that when grilled at the Zonal office of the EFCC Enugu, Mr Vincent Uduaghan, Mike Okeme, Benson Igbakpa and Victor Omoniyi confessed and agreed to the commission that monies were actually collected through daily Welfare ticket rates and Government daily permit tickets from Motorcycle &Tricycle Operators by the Applicants Consultant Union/Association (CMTOADS) but that they were not involved in the collection and agreed to bring Chief Obi Nzete and others who were invading arrest of the EFCC and told the officials of the EFCC that collection of the said tickets and tax have been stopped.
Meanwhile, NACTOMORAS has said that its members as law abiding citizens of Delta State will pay the government tax but stated that their welfare be left to them.