Maduako Igbokwe l Wednesday, November 2, 2022
AWKA, Anambra – Traders in Anambra State have sent another petition to Governor Charles Soludo, over alleged unwholesome activities of the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, in Anambra markets.
The petition by the traders operating under the aegis of Anambra Elite Trader’s Forum (AETF) was signed by Chief Chikeluba Odiche and Mr. Michael Nwangwu, titled: “Re-Sale of Market Leadership Offices and Other Atrocities being Perpetrated by Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry: Reaction To Dr.Obinna’s Response”
The petition, which copied prominent politicians, religious leaders , human right community and Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ) Anambra State Chapter was made available to Journalists on Wednesday in Awka, Anambra state .
Personalities copied in the petition includes: Senator Ifeanyi Uba, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Odua, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, Rt. Rev. O. C. Chiemeka, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, Most Rev. Alex Ibezim, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Rt. Rev. Ndubuisi Obi, The Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) Anambra State Chapter, Comrade Aloysius Attah, Comrade Vincent Ezekweme of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the Chairman Anambra State Chapter, Nigerian Union of Journalists and Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly.
The traders alleged that the Commissioner lied in his response to their earlier petition by denying that he has not turned Anambra State markets into bazaar of sort. The traders said that the Commissioner was economical with the truth as evidence abound that the Commissioner collected various sums of money from those he appointed Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members.
The Commissioner, they said, also denied disobeying court orders and claimed that only two cases from Anambra markets are pending before High Courts in the State , while one has been withdrawn.
According to the traders, no case from the markets has been withdrawn, noting that Court of Appeal had given an injunctive order restraining the Executives of Nkpor Motor Spare Parts Market from further erecting of shops at the market, lashed at the Market leaders for continuing the work with the authority of the Commissioner who they claimed is their business partner.
They also alleged that the Commissioner was expected to make over eighty million naira from building of over one thousand shops at the Nkpor Auto Spare Parts Market.
” It is this expected money from the shops at Nkpor Spare Parts that is making Dr. Ngonadi to recklessly disobey Court orders” they alleged.
They said most Markets in the state have dragged the Commissioner to Court, saying that a particular court gave an order for status quo ante bellum to be maintained in Ogbaru Main Market and Electronics Dealers Market but he defied those orders, sacked the elected leadership and replaced them with Caretaker Committees.
According to them, the Commissioner’s undue interest in Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor has brought the State Government to ridicule and embarrassment. They appealed to the Governor to prevail on the Commissioner to obey Court orders especially as it affects Electronics Market, Ogbaru Main Market,Nkpor Main market and Auto Spare Parts Market Nkpor.
“The actions of Dr. Ngonadi, in particular disobedience to court orders, projects the State Government as a state which has no respect for Judiciary. This may set the government on collision course with the judiciary”.
The traders noted that contrary to Dr.Ngonadi’ s falsehood that the markets are peaceful, there is no peace in any market in the state. They said there is crisis in Oseokwodu Market and that Ajasa Market wants to go their separate ways and thugs were being used to harass the traders.
At Nkpor Main Market, they alleged that traders are being abused and maimed, while tension continue to build at Electronics Market where the commissioner insisted that non-Anambra traders would not hold any office.
The traders appealed to the Governor to intervene in what is going on in Anambra Markets before the situation degenerates to loss of lives and destruction of properties.
“We still pray your Excellency to direct the Commissioner to reinstate the duly elected Market Chairmen who were unjustly and unlawfully removed from office. It is only this that may avert the looming danger” the traders appealed .
But speaking through his Administrative Assistant, Chuka Okeke, the Commissioner dismissed the allegations, insisting that there are only two cases against the Commissioner, the Ogbaru Main market and Electronics market.
He said the cases in Auto Spare Parts in Nkpor and Nkpor Main market preceded the Commissioner, Ngonadi. He also denied that the Commissioner collected money from traders who were made Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members.
Okeke described allegation that the Commissioner collected money from those who were appointed Caretaker Committee Chairmen and members as baseless and childish. He said, on the contrary it was the traders who wanted to corrupt the commissioner but that he turned them down.
Okeke also stated that not just anybody was appointed into the Caretaker Committee but people with integrity and records.
According to him, the people who thought they would be the chairmen of the markets , were not given the opportunity because everybody was profiled before the appointed to ensure that competent and honest people were given opportunity to serve.