By Henry Ojelu
The President of League of Confederations and Forum of Mobile Advert Practitioners of Nigeria, Otunba Mike Eboziegbe, has refuted media reports that he was arrested by the police for extorting motorists.
National Task Force Commander of Joint Mobile Sanitation Agency of Nigeria, JOMSAN, was reported to have allegedly told journalists that Otunba Mike was arrested by men of the Inspector General of Police’s team, following a petition against him and his team by JOMSAN.
However, in a swift reaction, Otunba Mike, while addressing journalists in Lagos, on Monday, denied being arrested by the police.
He stated that his association had, in June 2020, written a petition to the Inspector General of Police intimating him of the alleged illegal activities of ALGON/NULGE Task Force in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Council, Lagos.
Otunba Mike also alleged that the task force was collecting vehicular taxes and dues, claiming they got the directives from ALGON.
According to Otunba Mike, “ALGON wrote to Joint Tax Board, JTB, in 2011 seeking a positional statement as to ALGON forming a body for local government operation on vehicular revenue collection.
“JTB in response wrote to ALGON stating they (ALGON) do not have powers over the collection of taxes even as relates to vehicular taxes.
“In 2016, there were complaints from people saying they were seeing ALGON officials stopping and impounding vehicles for vehicular taxes.
“JTB again wrote ALGON and warned they do not have powers to collect any tax or form themselves into tax institution which ended ALGON’s insistence on trying to regulate vehicular taxes.
“But these people, one Smith and Njoku, are claiming they have ALGON mandates to collect vehicular dues.
“Such could not have been possible when ALGON itself does not have the mandate to collect such taxes or direct an association to collect on its behalf.
“We discovered Smith, who is a Supervisor at Oshodi Isolo local government and his people were impounding vehicles and motorcycles and took them to the local government.
“We asked them why they were doing it and they claim they have ALGON mandates.
“They started terrorising our members and taking them to police stations. That was why on June 6, 2020, we wrote to the Inspector-General of Police on their illegal operation.
“The IG responded and wrote a letter dated July 3, 2020, signed by DCP Idowu Owohunwa directing the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan to investigate the matter.
“They were invited and an investigation was carried out. Upon investigation, they were to be arrested last week Friday and taken to court but they quickly ran to the press claiming I was arrested.
“We have asked them to come with their facts but they couldn’t. They ran to Abuja and have been running around since then,” Otunba Mike stated.
He also accused the leadership of ALGON/NULGE Task Force of a negative campaign against his personality and the association and urged his members to remain calm amid provocation.
He continued: “They are just trying to evade justice. They know what they are doing is illegal. They are the ones impounding vehicles on the road.
“If you go to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, you will see some vehicles and motorcycles they have impounded illegally. They do not have the mandate to operate. They are illegal.
“I was never arrested. I have asked our members to remain calm while we continue to make efforts to ensure they are brought to books,” he said.