209 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | March 16, 2021
Awka – The Sand Miners Association of Anambra State has denied involvement in the alleged murder of revenue collectors or any act of violence and indiscipline in the state.
It also pledged continued willingness to remain law-abiding and supportive to the Federal and State governments in achieving their developmental goals.
The Association had been at loggerheads with Anambra State Government, over the imposition of revenue collectors on the members, who the association claimed, have exploited them severely for long.
Two persons said to be revenue collectors recruited by government- one Nwa mazi and Sunday Anaekwe, were murdered at different spots following the disagreement between the Asociation and an umbrella body the state government created to superintend over the affairs of all tipper drivers in the state.
TNC correspondent confirmed that some leaders of the Association had been arrested by the Police and taken to Abuja over the incident.
President of the body, Sir Chris Mbaegbu who spoke to newsmen in Onitsha on Monday, insisted that his members would not succumb to intimidation and harassment by illegal revenue collectors threatening their businesses.
He regretted allegations by certain desperate revenue agents they resisted their illegal levy imposition, including murder through petitions to the Police in the state and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We wash our hands off the circumstances surrounding the alleged killing of two revenue collector, Mr Chigaemzumkpa Nwafor and Sunday Aneke, said to be native of Ndiakunwata Nkwofada, Arondizuogu in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State and Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State, respectively, at the bank of the River Niger in Onitsha.
“The deceased are not members of our association and we don’t know what led to their death because they don’t collect any levy from us. It’s only the people behind Anambra State Tippers Association who allegedly employed them that can give accounts of what led to their death.
“We did not and will not prevent any legitimate Federal and State government revenue agents from collecting revenue from the people approved for them by the governments, including the Great Tipper Drivers Association of Nigeria.
“We however insist that such levy should not be collected from them at our sand beaches, thereby obstructing our business. It was our members’ refusal to allow the agents collect levy from tipper drivers at our sand beaches that incurred the wrath of one of them against us.
“He vowed to deal with us, and has been carrying out his threats through petitions that have led to arrest and detention of our members and their subsequent release,” he disclosed.
Mbaegbu added, “Our lawyer, Mr Gerald Ezeuko, SAN, Maduka Ewuzie, A.C Okorie and Leonard Eden have at different times in their respective petition to the Inspector General of Police and Anambra State government written against the revenue agent that has written petitions trying to rope us into this recent alleged murder of Nwafor and Aneke.
“This is not his first attempt, he tried to rope us into the murder of one Osita Aginam, a man we do not know or have any business with and that also failed.”