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Anambra State Governor Shuts Down Market, Summons Fleeing Leader Over Alleged IGR Diversion

 

Following the reported disappearance of the Chairman, Emmanuel Nwonwu, who is being questioned to address claims of non-remittance of market levies to the government coffers, the Anambra State Government cordoned up Odera Shopping Complex/Market, Awka.

The Anambra State Central Zone’s Unified Hybrid Enforcement Team (UHBET), under the direction of Evaristus Offor, commanded a task force responsible for tax and revenue compliance enforcement on behalf of the Anambra Internal Revenue Service (AIRS).

Some traders, who claimed to be devoted to paying their taxes and levies to the government through their chairman, apparently stunned the government officials by demanding that the market be opened.

The issue arose when Nwonwu was nowhere to be found at the market, and the government enforcement team requested to speak with the market chairman to verify the dealers’ claims that they owed nothing.

Chief Ikechukwu Ugwuoke, the chairman’s deputy, reportedly gathered certain stakeholders and traders for a conversation with the officials while the chairman’s phone was allegedly on the ringer after multiple calls from government officials.

The meeting produced a decision to temporarily unseal the market; in the event that the chairman is unable to produce receipts for alleged payments before government representatives at AIRS (Revenue House) on Monday, the market will be resealed.

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Speaking to reporters, Ugwuoke characterized the market shutdown as a double tragedy, attributing it to Nwonwu’s “insensitive” attitude toward the predicament of the traders, who he claimed had been experiencing a failing business due to the severe economic conditions that were in place.

He expressed gratitude to government representatives for opening up the market and emphasized that it was now time for traders and other interested parties to take control of their own lives

According to Odera Market Secretary Emeka Nwagbala, some traders made payments but did not receive receipts. According to him, the development did not follow accounting principles or the terms of the market’s charter.

Ozo Chinweze Ijomah, the market’s founding chairman, charged Nwonwu with operating the business as a private company and impeding attempts to organize elections more than two years after his term ended.

He asked Governor Chukwumah Soludo to step in and establish an audit team to look at the market’s financial and administrative health during the ten years that Nwonwu was in power.

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