Maduako Igbokwe l Tuesday, September 27, 2022
ANAMBRA, Nigeria – Traders in Anambra State under the aegis of Anambra Elite Traders’ Forum has accused the Anambra State Commissioner for Commence and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi of commercializing Caretaker Committee membership in the state.
In the petition to Governor Prof. Charles Soludo, copied to some politicians , religious leaders, human right community and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State chapter, the group accused the commissioner of selling leadership position in different markets in the State to the highest bidder.
Those copied are Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Odua, 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, Venerable Joseph Nweke, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, Comrade Aloysius Attah, Comrade Vincent Ezekweme, Dr. Emeka Odogwu Emeka, Chief of staff, Anambra state, Government House and Commissioner for Home Affair and Anambra State Government House Awka.
The petition which was signed by the duo of Chikeluba Odiche and Micheal Nwangwu alleged that the commissioner has been perpetrating atrocities in different markets in the State.
According to him, the petition is for the governor to be aware of the danger of the commissioner’s acts, as it portends to his administration, markets and the state in general.
They alleged: ” the bazaar has passed through many markets which includes Bridge-Head Market, Nkpor Main Market, Electronics Market Ogbaru, Ose Okwuodu Market, Ogbaru Main Market, NASPA Nnewi Market and several other Markets. In each of these Markets, the Commissioner for Trade and Market auctioned the different executive offices and positions. Wherein traders paid varying sum of money for these positions. Dr. Ngonadi collected monies from these persons and sold off offices to these persons and subsequently drove out the lawful occupants of these offices”
They alleged that the Commissioner has been in the habit of disobeying court orders especially that of the New Auto Spare Parts by approving for the executive to go on with the construction of new shops on top of the existing ones owned by members of the association without their consent.
” There is a matter before the court of Appeal Awka with suit No. CA/AW/155/2022. Also, there is a pending motion for injunction and stay of execution at the Appeal Court too. But the Commissioner neglected all these facts and went ahead to tamper with the subject matter before the Court” the group said.
According to the group, the Commissioner has ignored various court cases pending in respect of his unlawful removal of Market leaders.
” The action of this Commissioner has caused many traders in the market to institute different court cases in different law courts in the state. It might interest your Excellency to note that some of these cases involve not just the ministry and Dr. Ngonadi as parties, but also the Anambra state Government” they said.
The traders alleged that at present, there are over 40 Court cases pending in different courts against the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi and the Anambra state Government.
“It is noteworthy that these cases were provoked by the actions of Dr. Ngonadi” the traders alleged. They also said that in some of these cases, he has been served with Form 48 in respect of Dr. Ngonadi’s recklessness and disobedience to order of the courts.
They disclosed that committal proceedings would soon be commenced against him if he continues his disregard for the order of the courts. They said that the action of the Commissioner is “utterly distasteful and paint the image of the state government in black”.
According to the group, the action of the Commissioner is projecting the state government as lacking respect for the judiciary. They however, appealed to the Governor to critically look into the matter and ensure that the Commissioner is called to order and be made to retrace his footsteps as there is already tension in different markets in different parts of the State.
The traders also said the atmosphere is already charged, hence the Governor needs to urgently intervene to avoid the situation being escalated to uncontrollable level. When the Commissioner was contacted he said that he cannot dignify them with a response.
According to him, there are always petitions from people who were stopped from benefiting from illegalities in form of diversion of government revenues, extortions and other criminal activities in the market.
The commissioner said that , Anambra State markets are very peaceful now and all the allegations they levied against him are in public domain for verification. “I cannot possibly dignify them with a response. Have a good day and God bless” he said.