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Groups seek dissolution of Anambra agency over corruption

The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation and Campaign for Democracy, South-East zone, have asked the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to immediately disband the Anambra State Road Management Agency as currently constituted.

The groups also called on the governor to constitute an ARTMA made of people with character who are professionally trained to do the work with a human face.

They also called for the sacking and prosecution of the present Commander of the agency, Nnamdi Emmanuel, for the massive corruption and criminal extortions of road users in Anambra.

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The rights groups stated these in a statement made available to journalists in Awka on Wednesday, adding that the disbandment of the agency has become imperative to stem the tide of corruption, abuse, high-handedness and criminalities exhibited by the men against road users in Anambra State.

The statement was signed by the Executive Director, HURIDE, Dede Uzor, and on behalf of the Chairman, CD in the South East zone.

The groups said ARTMA, as an agency abandoned its statutory duty of managing traffic on the Anambra roads and engaged in abuse and extortion of road users.

They insisted that the statutory aim of setting up ARTMA was not purposely for profit motives, as demonstrated by their unconventional targets of impounding vehicles and extorting money from motorists.

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They accused ARTMA of remapping a lot of major streets and roads in the state and making them one-way without adequate publicity to sensitise motorists and other road users, while they hide at a corner looking for vehicles to impound.

The statement read, “They cash in on the ignorance of motorists who are unaware that some places have been turned into one way to impound people’s vehicles and extort huge sums of money ranging from N30,000 to N100,000 depending on the vehicle, especially Niger under-bridge. 

“If you introduce a new law, you should publicise it, so that the public will know about it. Don’t use it as bait to impound vehicles and impose outrageous fines.

“Sometimes these people lure and deceive drivers on where to park and then would impound the vehicle and extort huge sums of money from their victims.”

The groups also frowned at the way the ARTMA officials carry POS machines all around, which they use in forcing their victims to transfer money from their bank accounts, using white buses to operate.

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“Most of the traffic offenders are commercial vehicles but the operatives looked the other way and go after private cars where they can extort huge money.

“The Onitsha-Owerri Road is the most trafficked road but they look the other way because they are commercial vehicles.

“One pathetic case was a private school bus in Onitsha which was impounded and detained for one week but was released after the payment of N22,500,” the statement added.

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