By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITYâ€”GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has ordered the arrest of the Chairman, Committee on Illegal Structures and Street Trading, Colonel Felix Igiebor and four members for alleged extortion of money from members of the public.
Oshiomhole, who ordered their arrest at Sakponba Road in Benin,Â explained that his government would not tolerate acts capable of bringing hardship to the people and denting the image of government.
This comes as the governor also frowned at the slow pace of work on the construction of the drainage at the five junction aimed at stopping the perennial flooding in the area. He threatened to revoke the contract if Hi-Tech Construction Company does not intensify the job.
While ordering the arrest of Igiebor, Oshiomhole lamented that, â€œYou people have been doing a lot of damage to the image of government.Â You go about arresting innocent people and extorting money from them, and today you arrested a Bishop and demanded bribe.â€
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the extortionist, one of the victims, Bishop Gabriel Dunia of the Auchi Catholic Diocese, said on his arrival from Europe, he noticed that the members of the committee were about towing his vehicle for alleged illegal parking at the Airport Road.
The bishop said he immediately apologised, but they refused and demanded a bribe of N10,000 from his driver.
He said they insisted and took him to Government House where he then reported to the Chief Security Officer who ordered for its release.
He said the Task Force members were only giving the government a bad image as they were embarking on illegal duty.
Following the complaints from members of the public, of the unwholesome attitude and high-handedness of the members, the government has ordered the immediate dissolution of the Task Force Committee on Illegal Structures and Street Trading.
A Statement by Hon. Pally Irase, Secretary to Government said the dissolution is sequel â€œto confirmed cases of extortion under the guise of wrong parking, harassment of innocent persons, physical assault and dehumanising methods which are unacceptable to government.â€
The statement advised the committee members to return all government properties in their possessions to the Permanent Secretary Central Administration Central Administration.Â â€œAggrieved members of the public who have genuine complaints against members of the dissolved task force are encouraged to lodge their complaints to the permanent secretary Government House Benin Cityâ€, the statement concluded